Frequent Questions

Here are our answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s). If you can’t find the answer here, then look on the pages that deal with your particular eye problem.

 Advice & Support for people with eyesight problems

What organisations are there who can provide support and advice?

  • The Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) is there to advise anyone with an eyesight problem (you don’t need to be registered as blind or partially sighted)   Click here for further information .
  • The RNIB website is a good source of information:
    • Quote from RNIB website: “If you or someone you know has a sight problem we can help. Call our Helpline: 0845 766 9999 / 020 7388 2525. We are the UK’s leading charity offering information, support and advice to over two million people with sight loss. Our pioneering work helps anyone with a sight problem – not just with Braille and Talking Books, but with imaginative and practical solutions to everyday challenges”.

How to put drops in the eye?

First you need to wash your hands clean. Then pull the lower lid gently and put just one drop in pouch created. Please remember: half of the drop will often come out of the eye immediately – there is no need to put more than one drop. Try to avoid touching the eye with the bottle. Once the bottles is opened then discard after 28 days. Please read the leaflet that comes with the bottle.

Children’s Eye Problems

Should my child wear his/her glasses all day?

In most cases yes. If the glasses are not needed fulltime, your orthoptist will tell you. Some schools will require children to leave off their glasses at playtimes and for PE lessons for safety reasons. Provided the glasses have plastic lens this is not really necessary but if the school is insistent, please stress the importance of your child wearing them for the rest of the day.

My child claims to see better without the glasses or the glasses appear misty – is this normal?

This is a very common complaint in the early days of wearing glasses. Your child may have been struggling with reduced vision for some time, and now the brain and the eyes have got to learn to work together with the help of glasses. This can take some time and initially the glasses may not help the child very much. Please persevere – this is a very important stage of treatment.

How will a squint affect my child?

The ability to use both eyes together as a pair is termed ‘binocular vision’. A squint may result in loss of binocular vision, reduced vision (amblyopia) and poor appearance. A child without binocular vision will not have full 3-D vision or appreciation of depth. Reduced vision occurs in a squinting eye not being used as much as the other, as the brain ignores the squinting eye and the vision does not develop properly. If a squint remains untreated, the vision of that eye can be permanently damaged. Depending on how much the eye turns, the squint may be very noticeable, which can be distressing to the child if commented on.

Why does my child have to wear a patch?

Occlusion (patching) is used to make a lazy eye work on its own and so improve the vision by encouraging the development of the nerve pathways from that eye to the brain. The patch is worn over the good eye and the amount of time the patch must be worn is decided by the orthoptist and relates to the extent of the visual problem.

Clinic Attendance

How long can I expect to stay in the Eye Clinic

It depends upon your particular eye problem, and the problems of other patients whose appointment is ahead of you. Normally first time patients’ eyes are usually dilated so your first clinic appointment usually takes up between 30-40 minutes. When you come to the clinic, before you see the doctor, the nurse will first check your vision and drops may be put into your eyes to dilate the pupils, in which case you may also be asked to sit in the waiting area for about 30 minutes for the drops to take affect before the doctor sees you.

Some patients may need several investigations done on the same day and depending upon the type of investigations you may need to stay the whole day, and in rare cases we may need to admit you to the hospital.

What happens after my Eye Clinic appointment?

It depends up thon the diagnosis. If we know the diagnosis the treatment will be started. If we could not come to the diagnosis then we may request a few investigations. All the information will be sent to your GP.

Will my doctor be informed of assessment results?

We always write to your own doctor (GP) after each visit to the clinic.  If it is appropriate, we may also write to your optometrist or another specialist.  If you want a copy of the letter, let us know when you are in the clinic.

Driving Advice

Should I drive my car when attending clinic?

If you have drops to dilate the pupil then your vision will be blurred. It usually takes 2-4 hours, but can take up to 24 hours for the drops to wear off. Therefore, we advise that you do not drive yourself home from the eye clinic.  If you have other drops, then it should not affect your driving vision. If you are coming to department for the first time, then your pupil will be most likely to be dilated with drops.

Does my eye problem affect my ability to drive?

Some eye conditions can affect your ability to drive.  Please see the DVLA website (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) for current advice.  Please note that it is your personal duty to inform the DVLA, if you have an eye problem that might affect driving.   Information is also available through the direct.gov website .  You will also need to tell the company that does your insurance for driving about any eye problems.

Emergencies

 How can I get an appointment to be seen?

 We do have an Ophthalmic Emergency Referral Service – if you are a new patient you will need to be assessed by your G.P, the NHS walk-In centre, Accident Emergency or other health professional who will refer you if it is appropriate. It is not a ‘walk-In’ or self referral service – click here for further information.

I am having problems after recent eye surgery – what should I do?

Either contact the Nelson Day Case Unit on 01603 288038 or consult your post-operative advice sheet.