Eye Emergencies

If you have an eye emergency please call NHS 111. They will assess your issue over the telephone and offer you an appropriate service. 

For major injuries, call 999.

For red eyes, watery eyes, itchy/scratchy eyes, puffy eyes or dry eyes, a pharmacist will be able to give over the counter medication and advice.

For painful eyes and visual disturbances such as flashing lights and floating dots, call 111 or attend a Minor Eye Conditions Service Optometrist. A list of participating opticians can be found here.

For sight threatening emergencies, call 111 or 999. Eye Casualty is available as a walk in service both at the John Radcliffe Hospital (West Wing, 1st floor) and at Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital  (Eye Block). Sight threatening emergencies include:

  • Chemical liquids splashed into the eye.  First aid treatment: flush your eye with plenty of luke warm water
  • Cuts or lacerations to the eye lids
  • Penetrating eye injury and welding accidents
  • Sudden, painful eye causing sickness and feeling unwell
  • A red, painful eye after surgery
  • Rapid loss of vision following corneal graft surgery
  • Rapid onset double vision or loss of vision
  • Red, painful eye associated with contact lens wear    
  • Sudden painless loss of vision

When going to hospital with serious eye injury, please do not drive yourself and if you are a contact lens wearer bring a pair of spare glasses.