Eye Emergencies

There are several services available for those suffering eye problems, each with a different set of skills and ability to help.

If you are not sure which service is suitable for you ring NHS111


Pharmacy can quickly resolve most minor eye complaints with a brief examination and over the counter remedies. If you have pink, red, sticky, itchy, dry or watery eyes, as well as the most frequently experienced issues such as a stye or if they are red and sore, go to a local pharmacist.

Minor Eye Conditions Service

We are currently not contracted to do the Oxfordshire MECS service. This service is for any recent (within 6 weeks) eye problem that you feel requires urgent attention except where Eye Casualty is needed. Note – to access this service you need to have an Oxfordshire GP and be over 6 years old. A full list of MECS practices can be found here: Minor Eye Conditions Service – Oxfordshire LOC

Please note if you are in our EyeCare Plan, you can be seen automatically for emergency appointments.

Eye Casualty

Please call eye casualty triage line on 01865 234567 if you have any of the following, as these are red flags and not suitable for MECS:

  1. Severe eye pain (pain that is so bad that it stops you from doing your work)
  2. Contact lens patient with increasing pain, reduced vision OR light sensitivity
  3. Serious eye trauma in the affected eye
  4. Eye surgery within past 30 days and current issue is in this eye
  5. Painful red eye WITH reduced vision AND/OR light sensitivity
  6. Painful eye with vision loss and nausea or vomiting or haloes around lights
  7. History of iritis or anterior uveitis and suspicion this is a new episode
  8. Painful eye WITH droopy eyelid, double vision and abnormal pupil
  9. Sudden, sustained loss of vision
  10. Sudden onset double vision
  11. Transient loss of vision WITH headaches and soreness of scalp and jaw
  12. Swollen eyelid WITH red, painful, bulgy looking eye AND double or blurry vision
  13. Flashes and/or floaters WITH veils, curtains, clouds OR reduced central vision

If you have any of the following you will be directed to your GP for an urgent appointment or eye casualty if your GP is not available:

  1. Severe headaches for less than 1 month
  2. 15. Swollen lids with fever

Please make sure you have a spare pair of glasses if you are a contact lens wearer. Do not expect to be able to drive home from hospital.

You only rarely need to go to your GP

• If your eyelids are swollen and you have a fever (this is urgent)
• If you think your vision changes might be linked to a headache (Migraine).