Is it an emergency?

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It is critical that our Emergency Eye Department is able to help the patients who really need them. Many people visit the Emergency Eye Department when they could have been seen by a different healthcare professional. By finding the right person to talk to, you will get the most appropriate treatment.

Before going to A&E, think about whether you should visit:

  • A local optician – this can be a quick way of accessing help and advice. You often won’t need an appointment and you can speak to your optometrist in confidence.
  • A pharmacy – this can be a quick way of accessing medical help and advice as you don’t need an appointment and you can speak to your pharmacist in confidence.
  • Your GP – if it is a condition that your optician or pharmacist cannot treat, or for diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, prescriptions, medical examinations, and referral to specialist services, visit your GP.
  • A walk-in service – you do not need an appointment to visit an urgent care centre, minor injuries unit or walk-in centre.
  • Your local A&E department – each hospital in Greater Manchester where there is an A&E department will be able to diagnose and treat most eye conditions. Most departments will have ophthalmologists available to see to your eye’s specialist needs. A local A&E department will be easier to reach that the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital

If you’re not sure where to go, call NHS 111 for advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is free to call from landlines and mobiles.

Remember the Emergency Eye Department should only be used in extreme circumstances – if it is a sight threatening situation. If you access the Emergency Eye Department inappropriately, you may be turned away and directed to another service.

An emergency might include:

  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Painful eye or eyes