What happens if my optometrist (optician) notices a problem during my eye examination (eye test)?

If your optometrist (optician) thinks there may be a problem with your eyes which needs more investigation or possibly treatment, they’ll refer you to either a specialist optometrist or to the hospital eye clinic.
You may be referred to another optometrist if you need more tests to establish if you need to see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) at the hospital eye clinic. Some minor eye conditions can be monitored or treated by a specialist optometrist, without the need to refer you to hospital. These arrangements normally depend on where you live.
If they are referring you, the optometrist should tell you:
  • Where you are being referred
  • Who you will see
  • Why they are referring you
  • How urgently you should be seen
They should also talk to you about your eye health, explain what they’re doing and the results of any tests. If you don’t understand their advice or recommendations, it’s important to ask. Your optometrist will answer your questions or refer you to someone who can.
Helpful questions you can ask:
  • What are you referring me for?
  • How urgent is my appointment with the specialist?
  • What other tests might I need to have?
If you have been waiting longer than expected, you should also contact your optometrist or GP so they can help chase up the referral. You can also request a copy of the referral letter, so you know what your optometrist has said and what their concerns are. It’s also helpful to have a copy to give to the specialist when you see them.

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