What is an eye emergency?

If you have any of the following please attend the eye emergency department immediately:

  1. A chemical injury - make sure you immediately irrigate the eye with water for 15 to 20 minutes while making your way here.
  2. Severe trauma such as a penetrating eye injury
  3. Total loss of vision
  4. Excruciating pain
  5. Your eyelid is so swollen the eye cannot be seen at all

The eye casualty is not a walk in clinic. If your condition does not fit into the above please call us for advice on 023 8120 6592.

If your nearest general hospital is Queen Alexandra Portsmouth, Winchester, Salisbury, Frimley Park, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Guildford or in London, you should contact your local hospital first as they have emergency departments. Many also have on-call specialist eye doctors available for emergencies 24 hours a day.

If you are not sure if your eye condition requires urgent attention, please contact your GP or ring us. You can call NHS 111, but please note that they may be very busy during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Minor eye condition service (MECS)

There is also a community minor eye condition service (MECS) who you should consult for less serious problems or those that have been going on for some weeks. For details visit the Primary Eyecare (Southern) website.

You should not use MECS if you have recently had eye surgery. Please call us if you are unsure if the service is suitable for you.

The following conditions are suitable for MECS:

  • 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.