NHS optician is still the term most of us associate with their eye healthcare professional. However, the term is being used less and less within the profession and it is important you know who you are dealing with when you have your eyecare appointment.
When you visit an optician, you’ll have your sight tested by an ophthalmic practitioner, which can mean either an optometrist or an ophthalmic medical practitioner. A ophthalmic practitioner will check the quality of your vision and eye health. Both optometrists and ophthalmic medical practitioners are trained to recognise abnormalities and signs of any eye disease such as cataracts or glaucoma. If necessary, they will refer you on to your GP or an eye clinic for further investigations. They also prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.
It is recommended that you visit an ophthalmic practitioner for a sight test every two years, or sooner if you’ve been asked to do so. This is important because an eye examination can detect potentially blinding eye conditions. It is easy to neglect the eyes because they rarely hurt when there is a problem. In many cases it is not possible to restore the vision that has been lost, but it is sometimes possible to stop or slow down the loss of vision.
For details of services near you visit the NHS Choices website or download the Stockport Health and Care Finder app from your app store.
Stockport Minor Eye Conditions’ Service (MECS)
This service is for anyone registered with a Stockport GP and provides assessment and treatment for people with recently ocurring minor eye conditions.
The service is provided by MECS accredited optometrists (also known as opticians) across Stockport who have specialist knowledge, training and skills.
Minor eye conditions that can be treated by the service include:
- Red eye or eyelids
- Dry eye, gritty and uncomfortable eyes
- Irritation and inflamation of the eye
- Significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
- Recently ocurring flashes and loaters
- Painful eye
- Ingrowing eyelashes
- Recent and sudden loss of vision
- Foreign body in the eye
For more information visit the MECS website.