If they have a condition that needs to attention from an ophthalmic specialist within hours rather than days, urgent eye problems include:
If you have 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:
When I see a patient with 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. 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. 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. Although painful red eyes and red eyes with reduced vision are the most common red flag conditions for which urgent eye care is required, there are many other conditions, which also have to be seen urgently.
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.
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 020 7935 7990. We will be pleased to get back to discuss the problem and advise on whether you should be or can be seen urgently.
Please book a consultation for a written quote with a full breakdown of treatment costs.