Under the NHS, a wide range of services exist to treat individuals with serious eye problems and these are supported by NHS consultant ophthalmologists and other eye care professionals. If you need to be referred for treatment, this can be arranged through your optometrist or doctor.
If you find you have a problem with your eyes and you need treatment and/or an operation, you can request to be treated at a private hospital or dedicated eye clinic. This can offer greater continuity of care as the same consultant who attended your diagnosis will usually treat you. People often choose private eye surgery because a greater range of artificial lenses and technologically advanced equipment may be available for your treatment when compared to the NHS.
By specializing in eyes only, dedicated eye clinics aim to minimize exposure to MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections. Waiting lists are typically much shorter for private treatment.
Listed below is information about some of the most common serious eye problems and eye diseases. If you are experiencing any problems with your sight, the RNIB have information about the causes, symptoms and treatment options for a wide range of sight conditions and diseases:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes problems with your central vision, such as blurriness or even a blank patch. Early detection is one of the best ways to treat or manage the symptoms of AMD.
Macular hole - This is a small hole in the macula in the centre of the retina, the part of the eye responsible for our sharp, detailed central vision. A macular hole can lead to blurred and distorted vision. You may need an operation to help limit the sight problems a macular hole causes.
Cataracts - As we age, the lens inside our eye gradually changes and becomes less transparent. This misting or clouding is commonly known as a cataract. You may need a straightforward operation to remove the misty lens and replace it with an artificial lens.
Diabetes-related eye conditions - Diabetes can lead to a number of different eye conditions, including diabetic retinopathy. This is caused by fluctuating blood sugar levels, and affects the network of blood vessels supplying the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can be managed by laser treatment if it is detected early enough.