Urgent eye problems treated at Clinica London
At Clinica London, we see patients with urgent eye problems. They have a condition that needs to attention from an ophthalmic specialist within hours rather than days.
Urgent eye problems include:
- flashes and floaters
- corneal foreign body
- corneal abrasion
- corneal ulcer
- acute dry eye
- loss of vision
- sudden shadowing in the vision
- distorted vision
- very inflamed eyelid from a stye or infected chalazion.
If you have a red eye, you need urgent care because there may be a sight threatening problem, even if painless and the vision isn’t blurred. The serious causes of a red eye that are potentially sight threatening are
- corneal trauma and risk penetrating eye injury.
Red eye flags are moderate-to-severe eye pain, photophobia, red eye, reduced visual acuity on Snellen chart, foreign body sensation, and possible penetrating eye trauma.
When I see a patient with a red eye, I want to know first of all which eye is affected, whether it is the right eye, left eye or both. Is there photophobia, is there a possibility of a foreign body on the surface of the eye or penetrating trauma from hammering injury. I need to know if there is pain and if so whether it is mild, moderate or severe.
The first thing that happens when the patient comes to the clinic is to measure the visual acuity and estimate the extent of the redness. If necessary, some local anaesthetic eye drops are put into the red eye if the patient cannot easily open it. For instance, if they got a corneal abrasion, corneal foreign body or penetrating eye injury, it can be difficult to measure the vision unless an anaesthetic drop is instilled first.
I then look at the anterior segment of the eye on the slit lamp. That means looking at the eyelids and the surface of the eye, the cornea and just into the front of the eye in front of the lens at x 10 or x16 magnification. I measure the eye intraocular pressure (IOP). This way I can tell almost immediately whether I am dealing with someone who has got an acute inflammation in the eye, such as uveitis, or acute glaucoma with raised pressure.
I can tell whether there is a corneal abrasion or a corneal foreign body by putting in fluorescein drops on the slit lamp and then looking with a blue light as the corneal abrasion or foreign body will light up very brightly.
I test the pupil reactions, and if it is safe, dilate the pupil and look at the back of the eye, at the optic disc and retina. I may do imaging with the SLO machine.
Although painful red eyes and red eyes with reduced vision are the most red flag conditions for which urgent eye care is required, there are many other conditions, which also have to be seen urgently. I will discuss those more in the next few blogs.
At Clinica London, Mr Jaheed Khan, Ms Laura Crawley, Professor Michel Michaelides and Ms Jane Olver see adults with urgent eye problems. Professor Michel Michaelides will see adults or children with urgent eye problems. He is at Clinica London on a Thursday afternoon.
Clinica London is open each weekday, and we can see patients within a couple of hours for an urgent eye appointment. Out of hours, we carry the Clinica London urgent eye care mobile phone, number 07760 783942. We will be pleased to get back to discuss the problem and advise on whether you should be or can be seen urgently.