Eye Emergencies

Some eye symptoms can be quite frightening, but many many eye conditions are minor and temporary and will often resolve on their own without intevention.

Symptoms that affect your vision should always be seen by a qualified professional because they could indicate an eye disease, an eye injury or a condition that may be affecting the entire body.

If you have any concerns about your eyes or your vision please call us.

The following symptoms require immediate assessment and advice:

Sudden, unexplained loss of vision.
Sudden loss of vision can be very disturbing. Three very serious conditions that may cause acute vision loss include anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION), central retinal artery occlusion and complete retinal detachment.

You have pain in or around your eyes.
Some people describe eye pain as dull, sharp, gritty, burning, aching or stabbing. Eye pain is often categorized as either ocular pain (on the surface of the eye) and orbital pain (behind or in the eye.) Some causes of ocular pain are corneal abrasions and ulcers, chemical and flash burns, eyelid styes, conjunctivitis and dry eye syndrome. Causes of orbital pain include acute angle-closure glaucoma, uveitis, trauma, tumors and migraines.

You are experiencing flashing light or floating objects in your vision.
Flashes of light (photopsia) or floaters are often signs of a retinal tear or detachment. A retinal detachment is similar to a piece of wallpaper peeling off a wall. If it tears or peels off, the retina may flap or move around in the eye, causing flashes of light or floaters. Floaters may also be a sign of a less serious condition known as a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). Having a PVD slightly increases the risk for retinal detachment, which is a serious medical emergency.

You slept in contact lenses and woke up with a painful, light sensitive, red eye.
Waking up with a light sensitive, painful, red eye after sleeping in contact lenses is often an early sign of a corneal ulcer. It is possible that your eye is only inflamed from having slept in contact lenses. However, if the diagnosis is a corneal ulcer, treatment should be started immediately to reduce the chances of permanent corneal scarring and reduced vision.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above please call us immediately. Outside of normal office hours please call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47