A PORT woman feared she had a brain tumour before doctors diagnosed her with a condition that almost left her blind.

After Emma Carson, 20, suffered bouts of bad headaches, a trip to the optician led to a life-changing diagnosis.

The quick thinking optometrist noticed that something wasn’t quite right and immediately sent Emma to hospital where she underwent a series of scans and special tests.

Doctors initially thought she had a brain tumour before she was eventually diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension, a condition that results in a build-up of pressure around the brain.

If left undiagnosed it can lead to blindness.

Thankfully Emma is now on the road to recovery and has decided to speak out in a bid to raise awareness of the condition.

She told the Tele: “I feel very lucky to still have my eyesight.

“It was scary to go through that.”

Emma’s mum Margaret, 49, added: “The consultant said that if it had been left she would’ve lost her sight.”

It was in September last year when Emma, a former Port Glasgow High School pupil, started to get headaches.

She said: “I had an appointment at the hospital but I missed it because I wasn’t well.

“Then the headaches got really sore in April and May this year.

“I made an appointment to go to the opticians at Tesco in Port Glasgow and just thought I needed stronger glasses.

“But the optician told me I was losing the sight in my left eye and that I had blind spots.

“I was really worried.”

Emma, who works as a home help in Kilmacolm, said the optometrist immediately referred her to Inverclyde Royal for urgent checks.

She added: “I got another test and then they took a picture of my eye.

“They could see fluid and pressure on the optic nerve, pictured inset, and said there could be a number of causes but they had to rule out that it wasn’t a brain tumour.

“When they mentioned the words brain tumour, I thought ‘holy moly’.”

Emma’s mum Margaret said it was a shock but she was determined to remain strong for her daughter.

She said: “I didn’t go into hysterical mode because I wanted to stay positive and look at the positive side of things.

“For Emma’s sake, I couldn’t show any worry or any emotion although inside I was worried.

“Nobody wants anything like that to happen to your baby.”

During Emma’s anxious wait for results, her friend Kate Munford – who featured in the Telegraph earlier this year after being diagnosed with a brain tumour – gave her lots of support.

Margaret said: “So many other parents have been through it and we know Kate and her mum very well, so Emma was in contact with Kate.”

After undergoing various tests, including CT and MRI scans at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Emma’s nervous wait for results was over.

Doctors broke the news of Emma’s condition and explained it to her in detail.

Margaret said: “It’s a pseudo tumour.

“The body shows signs that it’s a tumour because of the build-up of fluid.”

To treat the condition, Emma underwent a lumbar puncture which removed the excess fluid from her spine and helped reduce the pressure on her brain.

She added: “It was quite scary.

“I was really sick the week after it and had to go to the doctors.”

Emma was also prescribed special tablets and has been told to seek help if she experiences any other symptoms.

She added: “I have been taken off the tablets but if I start to feel the headaches then I will have to go back on them.

“If they don’t work then they would look at putting in a shunt to drain the fluid.”

Emma, who lives with Margaret and her mum’s partner John McReynolds, hopes to encourage others to get checked out immediately if they experience any similar symptoms.

Her mum added: “I think Emma is very brave.

“It’s always best to not shrug off a persistent headache. People should always get it checked out.”