PEARS – NHS FREE SERVICE
The NHS has launched a new free eye care service for people with minor eye conditions. Instead of waiting for a GP appointment or attending A&E, you can now make an appointment with your local PEARS qualified optician and be seen within one or two working days. We will assess and treat the condition, or make a referral where appropriate.
The aim of the Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (NI PEARS) is to provide appropriate and timely care for patients presenting with an acute, sudden onset, mainly anterior, non sight threatening eye problems in primary care. This reduces unnecessary referrals to the hospital eye services, reduces patient anxiety and increase capacity within the overburdened hospital eye health services.
Who can attend for a PEARS assessment?
Anyone registered with a GP.
If you have had recent onset of
• Red eye or eyelids
• Dry eye, gritty and uncomfortable eyes
• Irritation and inflammation of the eye
• Significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
• Recently occurring or sudden increase of flashes and floaters
• Painful eye
• Ingrowing eyelashes
• Recent and sudden reduced vision
• Something in your eye
How to book an appointment?
Phone us to make an appointment for a free PEARS assessment. This assessment is not a full eye examination.
What happens at the appointment?
The Opticians will assess your vision and the eye, we will perform a thorough history and symptoms and any relevant clinical tests. Sometimes the Optician may need to put in some dilating eye drops to get a better view of the back of the eye. You may not be able to drive for a couple of hours after, until these effects were off. The Optician following the assessment will decide if treatment is required or make a referral where appropriate.