STINGING eyes and pain blinking... Gurcharan Kaur put it down to developing hay fever.
The 30-year-old shrugged off her irritating symptoms for weeks, thinking it was just due to the high pollen count.
She dosed up on antihistamines and thought nothing more of it.
But when she was sightseeing in London last month she noticed her eye was even more irritable than normal.
So after walking past an opticians she decided to pop in for a check up.
Despite initially being told to use eye drops, she returned and a test revealed she had optical nerve damage on her left eye.
Doctors discovered she had a small colloid cyst - a slow-growing tumour in the centre of her brain, behind her left eye.
She was weeks away from developing seizures, they said, and she had brain surgery to remove the benign mass.
Now tumour-free, Gurcharan, from Wolverhampton, wants to warn others of downplaying possible life-threatening symptoms.
She said: "I just thought I was developing hay fever.
"My eye would just sting in the morning but I'd just take an antihistamine and it would go away.
"I knew you could develop it at any time and I just thought it was just a case of that.
"I'd also been feeling dizzy and tired for a couple of months but I just shrugged it off.
"I've always had perfect vision so it didn't even cross my mind it would be something this serious."
The 30-year-old said walking past a branch of Vision Express was a sign, prompting her to get a check up.
She was on her way to meet her older sister Sharan, 36, when she booked an appointment.
"My eye was itching and I just thought it was a sign," she said. "I only went in there on a whim.
The doctors told me if I hadn’t gone in it would have grown and I would have had started having seizures
"I didn't actually think I had something wrong with me.
"It was just a coincidence that I walked past it."
Hours later, as Gurcharan's eye got more and more red, she returned to Vision Express.
She had a standard eye test and opticians discovered she had damage to the optical nerve on her left eye.
WHAT IS A COLLOID CYST?
A COLLOID cyst is a non-cancerous or benign brain tumour.
They are typically slow-gorwing and are found near the centre of the brain.
If they grow to large enough sizes, they can cause a build up of fluid on the brain, known as hydrocecphalus, which causes greater pressure on the brain.
Symptoms include headaches, and in some cases they can reduce a patient's risk of sudden death.
Neurosurgeons can use minimally invasive ops to remove the cysts.
"I just kept complaining about how much it hurt," Gurcharan said.
"I kept checking to see if there was anything in my eye. It was just really, really itchy."
She was referred for a CT scan, and the pair took the train home and went straight to New Cross Hospital, in Wolverhampton.
Doctors discovered abnormal fluid on her brain, and a further scan revealed a small colloid cyst - a slow-growing tumour typically found near the centre of the brain.
It was behind her left eye and warned she was weeks away from developing seizures, she said.
Days later she had a two-hour operation which saw doctors cut her head open through minimal invasive surgery to remove the mass, sending Gurcharan home with a two-month course of epilepsy tablets.
Botched fillers left me with agonising blisters… my lips are STILL sore 3yrs on
Gurcharan said: "Thankfully it wasn't any bigger. I've been scared for my life.
"I just want to warn people about ignoring what can be quite serious symptoms.
"I just kept shrugging off. I would feel sick but after I took a hay fever tablet it would stop.
"I had been burying my head in the sand but I just knew something wasn't quite right so that's why I went back.
"The doctors told me if I hadn't gone in it would have grown and I would have had started having seizures."