Optician - not GP for eye problems

The launch event for Eyecare Ayrshire
The launch event for Eyecare Ayrshire

People in Ayrshire are being encouraged to visit their local optician instead of their GP if they experience eye problems.

A new campaign, Eyecare Ayrshire, was launched last week at an event bringing together optometrists, family doctors, clinical leads and pharmacists to hear about the new service.

Many people currently go to their family doctor or the hospital emergency department when they experience problems with their eyes.

Eyecare Ayrshire is advising people to, instead, visit their local optometrists or opticians who, by using specialist equipment, can identify problems, make a diagnosis and then if required, people can get eye drops free of charge from local community pharmacies.

John Burns, Chief Executive, said: “We know that most people will visit their family doctor in the first instance if they have a medical concern.

“However, we want people to know that if it’s about their eyes, then their optometrist is their best first point of contact.

“These professionals specialise in eye health.

“They are best placed to identify and diagnose problems. And now we are delighted that they will be working with local pharmacies to ensure patients can get eye drops, if required, free of charge.

“This offers our patients a more efficient and appropriate way of accessing the most appropriate service for their condition.”