Due to Covid 19, we have had to reduce normal activity levels at the hospital in order to reduce infection risk to patients and staff, to respect social distancing measures and guidelines on isolation for those at higher risk from the virus. The numbers attending are limited to a large extent by the necessity to maintain social distancing apart from during a short period at the time of your eye examination.

At present we are obliged to minimise the movement of people to and from the hospital and also ensure that it remains as safe a hospital as possible for those in need of urgent and emergent care. We are, of necessity, deferring care that is not urgent or emergent.

We know that this may be a cause of considerable concern to you. The staff of the glaucoma team are still here to support you and are available to answer any queries you may have in relation to your Glaucoma care.

Our Doctors and Nurse Specialist are reviewing each individual’s requirements and they will make the decision either to continue with your appointment, undertake a phone consultation or reschedule your appointment. If your appointment is cancelled you will be rescheduled to attend at a later date when we are in a position to expand service again.

To manage queries from all our glaucoma patients we have established a helpline specifically for Glaucoma Care and it will be staffed 9am -12noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays only.
We may not always be available to answer your call but if you leave a message we will answer your query as soon as possible.

Examples of glaucoma related queries you may have include:

  • Questions about using your glaucoma drops
  • How to get a repeat prescription
  • Eye discomfort whist using your drops
  • Reassurance on your glaucoma condition

Some Frequently Asked Questions in relation to glaucoma care

My Appointment was cancelled when will I get a new appointment?

If your appointment was cancelled it will be rescheduled in turn. Our hospital appointment staff are working extremely hard to ensure that all patients who have been cancelled during this time receive a new appointment as soon as possible. This may take time as we do not have a definite date as to when clinics will be fully operational again. Please bear with us.

My appointment was not cancelled, should I still attend?

If you received a text message or phone call informing you of you scheduled appointment please attend as advised. Please do not present at the check-in desk more than 15 before your appointment.

However, please do not attend if you feel unwell, or have household contacts that are unwell or are over 70 years of age, please contact the Glaucoma Helpline number and we will advised you. Do not leave your home if you have been advised not to do so.

If you are cocooning, due to age or a medical condition, be reassured that strict social distancing is being maintained for all patients and masks are worn by all healthcare workers. Screens on the slit lamps provide a barrier between you and the doctor or nurse conducting the examination.

My appointment was cancelled, I’m not sure if I should continue to take my glaucoma drops?

Always continue to take your glaucoma eye drops as prescribed unless told otherwise your eye doctor or nurse specialist. We will review your drops at your next appointment.

I have run out of drops and I need a new prescription?

If you have a medical card your GP can prescribe your drops as normal. If you do not have a medical card contact the Glaucoma Helpline and we will discuss this with you.

I cannot leave the house, how will I get my drops?

If you cannot leave the house contact your pharmacist and getting your drops to you can be arranged or alternatively some else can pick them up for you. The important thing to do is ensure you continue to use your glaucoma drops.

I am using drops but now I feel like they are irritating my eyes?

This could be related to a dry eye or allergy, please phone the helpline and we will discuss this with you.

What if my planned glaucoma surgery is cancelled?

If your glaucoma surgery was cancelled, it will be rescheduled as soon as possible. In the meantime you should continue to take your drops as prescribed. Do not stop them. We are doing our utmost to reschedule operations for glaucoma surgery and to prioritise in the order of the greatest clinical need.

I have an urgent eye problem or new eye problem what should I do?

If you have a new eye problem which you are concerned about phone the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Emergency Department. During this COVID-19 situation the department is operating an appointment only system.

For Emergency Department appointments please phone 01 664 4600
Monday to Friday: 0800hrs – 2000hrs
Saturday and Sunday: 0800hrs – 1700hrs


When you phone you will be triaged by a nurse and this will determine if you need to been seen. In general eye emergencies include:

  • Loss of vision, altered vision, sudden blurred vision and getting worse
  • New flashes of light with floaters and/or an appearance of a curtain coming across your vision
  • Painful eye
  • Worsening red eye