Itchy or irritated eyes are easy to pin on seasonal allergies, which is what one 30-year-old woman in London suspected when she stopped in at an ophthalmologist’s office last month. But Gurcharan Kaur, who at that point was having trouble blinking and noticed swelling in her eye, would soon learn that her symptoms were more troubling than a simple pollen irritation, and were actually due to a tumor in the middle of her brain.
"I thought it was just developing hayfever," she told SWNS. "My eye would just sting in the morning but I’d just take an antihistamine and it would go away."
She said if she hadn’t been walking past a Vision Express store while waiting for her sister to get out of a job interview, she isn’t sure she would’ve even gone to get her symptoms checked.
"I didn’t actually think I had something wrong with me," she told SWNS. "It was just a coincidence that I walked past it."
She returned to the office a few hours later and was given a referral for a CT scan. She and her sister went to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, where doctors discovered abnormal fluid on her brain and a small colloid cyst behind her left eye.
A colloid cyst is a slow-growing tumor typically found near the center of the brain, according to UCLA Health. Patients typically complain of headaches, but may present with other symptoms. For Kaur, the diagnosis required a two-hour operation to remove the cyst, and two months of anti-epilepsy medication.
"I’ve been scared for my life," she told SWNS. "I just want to warn people about ignoring what can be quite serious symptoms."