Eye Problems

The GP practice is often not the best place to visit in the first instance for an eye problem. There are two other NHS services locally that can provide more expert help for eye problems. For eye emergencies, Sunderland Eye Infirmary provides round the clock access. For non-emergency problems, several local opticians are able to offer quick appointments that are free for all patients. These are different to a routine sight test.

What is an “Eye Emergency”?

  • Chemical liquids splashed in the eye.
  • An injury to the eye in which the eye ball or lids are lacerated or objects enter the eye, such as sharp instruments or metal.
  • A suddenly blind and painful eye which causes sickness and general feeling of being unwell.
  • After an eye operation, a suddenly painful, red, swollen eye in which the vision has unexpectedly deteriorated.
  • Patients following corneal graft surgery in which there is no pain, but for whom vision has rapidly deteriorated.
  • Shadows or ‘curtaining’ in the field of vision which is painless but may be associated with flashing lights or an increase in seeing black specks or blobs (floaters).
  • A red and painful eye associated with wearing contact lenses.
  • Very painful eyes.
  • Sudden loss of vision in one eye with no other symptoms. If both eyes are affected, call 999 as this may be a stroke.
Get help for an Eye Emergency

What are the minor eye problems the optician can deal with?

  • Red eye or eyelids
  • Dry eye, or gritty and uncomfortable eyes
  • Irritation and inflammation of the eye
  • Significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
  • Recently occurring flashes or floaters
  • Ingrowing eyelashes
  • Recent and sudden loss of vision
  • Foreign body in the eye
Get help for a Minor Eye Problem

Last modified: January 3, 2024