Preserving your eye health during lockdown

Orbis Trustee and Eye Surgeon, Rob Walters (FRCS, FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth) shares his advice on when and how you should seek help for eye health issues during the current pandemic.

In line with public health advice, most routine eye tests and appointments are currently postponed. However, there are still instances where it is important to get your eyes seen to – urgent eye care clinics and A&E departments remain open and in some cases, pharmacists may be able to provide advice on minor conditions, for example sticky, red eyes.

If you are experiencing any of the following, it is recommended you should seek urgent help:

  • Trauma to the eye (unless it is very minor, such as a small scratch)
  • Sudden loss of vision.
  • Onset of double vision.
  • Flashes and floaters, particularly if there is also a shadow in the field of vision.
  • An aching eye
  • Onset of light sensitivity and blurring.

Routine Eye Conditions

If you are already under the care of a consultant or hospital for an eye condition (such as glaucoma) then you should continue with your treatment as advised, until your next appointment. However, if for any reason you feel that the condition is getting worse, then seek help.


Please wear eye protection if you are doing a job which could endanger the eyes, such as hammering and chiselling, using a nail gun, welding etc. There is anecdotal evidence of a current increase in eye injuries.

The above is not an all-inclusive list, so please seek advice and help if you have any concerns about your eyes or vision.

Many hospitals, GPs and Optometrists - both NHS and Private - are now providing video and/or telephone consultations so that you can seek advice from home if you are concerned. Look online or contact your local health provider to see what is available.

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