GET your eyes checked regularly, warns a councillor who discovered she had been living with an "egg-sized" brain tumour for a decade.

Cllr Melly Buckley, 44, of Flint, has an important message for Flintshire residents when it comes to checking eye and brain health.

She said: "We are all aware of the importance of smear tests, and checking breasts and balls but these things are just as important. It's time to take health seriously across the board."

Cllr Buckley, who attends regular eye tests at her local Specsavers in Flint, went for her routine eye test a couple of months ago where she picked up a new set of prescription glasses.

She said: "I had headaches, but they weren't so bad by then, so I didn't mention it to the optician."

She said headaches had been bothering her for 12 months, but just thought it was "the usual kind of headache."

Cllr Buckley then described how on the worst of days, the pain would feel like an "axe" in the back of her head, and their severity caused imbalance and nausea.

"Then my head just kept getting worse and worse, so I simultaneously booked a doctors appointment and with the opticians. Both my doctor and I thought I had migraines - but we wanted to know why, so he urged me to go to opticians with my symptoms."

The mother-of-one said during the appointment with Specsavers on Monday, September 3, Dr Richard Price "spotted something he didn't like and got straight on the phone to Abergele hospital there and then."

Cllr Buckley said she owes her life to the Flint branch, who got the ball rolling by phoning Abergele Hospital, who sorted out an emergency MRI scan at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd where the benign brain tumour was discovered. Haemorrhaging in the back of her eye was also discovered at this stage.

Although the tumour is not thought to be cancerous, Cllr Buckley is now on medication to shrink the egg-sized lump and is preparing for removal surgery at Walton Hospital next week. She may also require some radiotherapy treatment for "whatever remains" of the tumour.

She said: "If people are worried about going to the doctors or opticians, just do it. I don't want people to ignore any signs.

"That's the whole point really: if you have headaches, get to the doctors; eye strain, go to the opticians, and don't ignore or miss appointments, ever."

"Just go for the checks. These things can be sorted, and pretty quickly."

Dr Price recommended that everyone has an eye test at least once every two years, or whenever they notice even the smallest change in their eyesight, headaches, or migraines.

In a bid to raise awareness around tumours and checking for them, Cllr Buckley is 'braving the shave' before her radiotherapy treatment to raise funds for Macmillan. So far, she has raised over £200 in less than a week since her diagnosis.

To donate, visit