At the moment, our stores are only open for essential or urgent eye appointments. So what does that mean? And who is eligible? You’ll find everything you need to know here.

Please note ear care appointments are not affected – you can book here.

What is an essential or urgent appointment?

An essential appointment covers things that wouldn’t usually be considered an emergency, but could be detrimental to someone’s sight or well-being if not sorted out quickly. This includes any concerns you have about your eyes, or if you’ve noticed any change at all in your vision during lockdown or since your last eye test. It also includes things like replacing broken or lost glasses or contact lenses needed to function – which is particularly important for key workers.

Urgent or emergency appointments are available in situations where you need urgent clinical advice or help. For example, for red eye, contact lens discomfort, a foreign object in the eye, a sudden change in vision and unusual flashes and floaters. This appointment also covers situations where someone has been referred to us for urgent eyecare from an NHS service or other healthcare professional.

Who can book an urgent essential eye appointment?

If you’re having any problems with your eyes, the best thing to do is to call your local store. They’ll ask you some questions about your symptoms and will be able to arrange an appointment over the phone or with our RemoteCare service, or they’ll let you know whether you should come into store.

They may even refer to you to an eye emergency department. If you do need to come into store, we’re following government guidelines to make this as safe as possible.  

If you do need to visit your local store, we’re following government guidelines to make this as safe as possible. Find out what your new Specsavers store experience might be like here.

What happens during these appointments?

Before you come in for your appointment, your optometrist will make an assessment of your signs and symptoms so that your appointment can be tailored based on the specific help you need. For that reason, these types of appointments will differ from person to person.

I have regular check-ups to manage my eye condition. Will these continue as normal?

If you usually have regular monitoring for conditions like glaucoma, it’s likely that your appointments will be postponed until more regular services can start to go back to normal. If you’ve been assessed as being at very high risk of sight loss, your hospital or care provider will continue to see you for urgent treatment.

During this pause in services, get in touch with your local store if you need any help or advice about managing your condition.

I’ve recently had eye surgery. Can I see my optician for a follow-up?

Surgery follow-up appointments are seen as routine, rather than urgent or essential, so it’s likely that your follow-up will have been postponed for the time being. Your surgery provider may have been in contact with you about this already and will be able to give you some advice.

In the meantime, if you have any sudden changes in your vision, eye pain or any other symptoms, it’s important than you contact your optician as soon as possible for advice.

I’ve noticed a sudden change in my vision — can I see my optician?

If you’ve noticed any changes in your vision or eye health, get in touch with your optician as soon as you can. They’ll ask you a few questions and will recommend the best thing for you to do.

If you think you need essential care, you can book an appointment here.

If you need some help, but you don’t fall under this category, you can fill out a form to talk to one of our experts remotely, post any questions you have on our Facebook group, or find plenty of information about what we’re doing as well as updates on our COVID-19 care page.

Everything you need to know about Coronavirus

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