What is an eye emergency?

The eye casualty is a specialist emergency department and delivers urgent care to people who have severe eye pain, sudden loss of vision and other related injuries.

If you have a chemical injury, severe trauma to the eye or a penetrating eye injury, please come straight to the eye casualty department.

The eye casualty is not a walk in clinic.

If your eye problem is not urgent and symptoms have been present for more than two weeks, you should see your GP who may refer you to one of our specialist clinics in our eye unit.

Alternatively, you can visit the Southern Primary Eyecare website for details of other services in your area. These are opticians that are commissioned to see NHS patients for free. They can assess and treat minor eye conditions such as:

  • dry, gritty, irritable and uncomfortable eyes
  • foreign bodies in the eye
  • red eye or eyelids
  • ingrowing eyelashes
  • watery discharge
  • recent and sudden changes in vision

The department should not be used for second opinions, repeat prescriptions or non urgent problems such as dry or itchy eyes, hay fever or cataracts.

If you are not sure if your eye condition requires urgent attention, please contact your GP, a local minor eye condition service or dial 111 for advice.

Patient information

You can find more information below about non-urgent eye problems and how you can treat them at home.