A YOUNG mum thought she was going blind and feared she would die in her sleep before discovering she was suffering from a life-threatening condition.

Lucy Whittingham, 27, was plagued by headaches and tunnel vision and even had to give up driving because she feared for the safety of her four-year-old son Cameron.

One night she had to tell her young boy how to call his grandma in case Lucy did not wake up the following morning.

An optician discovered she was suffering from a Papilledema – a condition where increased pressure in or around the brain causes part of the optic nerve inside the eye to swell.

The family group worker said: "My health seemed to go downhill very quickly – I had tunnel vision and blotchiness and so my mum drove me home from the doctor’s surgery.

"I’d given up driving voluntarily a week prior as I felt unsafe with my dizzy spells and would never risk my four-year-old son Cameron, or anyone else’s life just chancing it with less than perfect vision.

“I think what was scariest about my condition is that the cause is still unknown, I’m a healthy person who doesn’t even wear glasses.

"But, I still found myself telling my son how to call my mum in case I went to sleep and never woke up – my symptoms were that bad. I lost the ability to drive for seven weeks, I couldn’t go to work and I lost so much confidence because of it.”

Optometrist Ben Richardson examined Lucy's eyes before sending her for an emergency hospital appointment.

A CT scan ruled out any tumours but showed the Papilledema.

Mr Richardson said: "It was clear that Lucy was distressed from the experience that she’d had of not being taken seriously while her condition was worsening rapidly

“Her eye test showed incredibly swollen optic disks from a build-up of pressure around her brain. It was this that had caused her symptoms and if she had left it any longer there could have been serious consequences.”

Lucy is urging people to take up free eye tests as part of Road Safety Week this week.

Visit Vision Express in The Oracle for more information.