What happens after your hospital appointment depends on the eye condition the ophthalmologist thinks you have. In most cases you will probably have to visit the clinic within the next few months for more examinations, tests and possible treatments.
Any treatment that may be necessary - whether this is surgery, laser procedures or medication - will be explained to you. Any questions you have about them should be addressed.
Most people will visit the ophthalmology department more than once. If your eye condition is treated and successfully dealt with then you may be discharged and not have to visit the hospital again. Most eye conditions will need to be monitored over a long period of time (such as glaucoma), and you may have to be seen regularly by your ophthalmologist.
When the eye specialist thinks everything possible has been done to treat your condition, you will be discharged.
Some hospitals may give you a direct telephone number that you can use if you experience major changes in your vision in the period between regular appointments.
If you have been discharged but then your sight changes, it is very important to go to your GP and ask for a new appointment with the eye specialist.
To find out more about your condition, go to our easy to read information on the most common eye conditions.
If you are not happy with the service it is usually possible to sort it out with the staff at the clinic.
However, if you are unsure of how to take things forward all hospitals in England have a Patient Advice and Liaison services (PALS). PALS is a confidential service for patients and their families, to help deal with any questions or concerns you may have about local health services and to offer support if needed. Your GP should be able to tell you how to contact your local PALS service. If you are in Wales please contact your Community Health Council.
If you need help or advice on coping with a change in your vision then RNIB, your local society for blind and partially sighted people or your local social services department can all help.
If your sight is poor, in many instances, registering as severely sight impaired (blind) and sight impaired (partially sighted) makes it more likely that you will get the help and support you need.
It can be useful sometimes to talk to people who have been through similar experiences.
You could meet people through a support group for people with particular eye conditions or through a local society for people with poor sight. Search the Sightline Directory to find groups near you.
Our recently diagnosed pages offer more ideas on where to find support and advice.
Find local services and organisations that help blind and partially sighted people in the UK.Search Sightline