Cataract FAQ

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak we have deferred all cataract outpatient appointments and cataract surgeries. This decision has been taken to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus and to ensure we can utilise NHS staff and resources appropriately during these unprecedented times. Whilst we recognise the postponement of your eye care can be distressing, we thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times. Before contacting the cataract service using the information given at the end of this page, please read through the list of frequently asked questions.

When will my outpatient appointment be rescheduled?
Our team of doctors, optometrists and nurses are currently reviewing all cataract clinic patient appointments and are taking the following action.

New patient appointments
We anticipate your appointment will be rescheduled some months in the future but this will depend on how the COVID-19 situation develops in the UK. Please note we are not sending out any new or rescheduled appointments at present but do accept our assurance you will not be overlooked. Any patients with severely reduced sight in both eyes will be contacted and given an appointment as soon as possible. Any delay in cataract surgery will not damage your eye.

Post-operative appointments
Our clinicians are currently performing telephone consultations to address your post-operative care. During this consultation we will discuss your vision, eye comfort, post-operative medications and any other concerns you may have. Please do try and answer any telephone calls you receive and note our telephone number may show as a withheld number. We will leave a voicemail or answerphone message if you are unavailable and attempt to contact you again. Following your telephone consultation you should receive a summary letter in the post. A list of common symptoms after cataract surgery is given at the end of this page.

Refractions (eye tests) and spectacle dispensing
If you require new spectacles following cataract surgery or to optimise your vision if surgery has been delayed, this can be arranged at your local Opticians. Some local practices are still open for emergency and essential eye care and we request you check times in advance of any visit. If you can manage your daily visual tasks with any current spectacles please consider whether you can avoid any unnecessary journeys. Please also note that reading spectacles or “ready readers” are available to purchase cheaply online from a number of retailers. You will not damage your eyes if you use cheap reading spectacles that are not exactly the correct prescription.

When will my cataract surgery be rescheduled?
We anticipate your surgery will be rescheduled some months in the future but this will depend on how the COVID-19 situation develops in the UK. Please note we are not sending out any new or rescheduled surgery dates at present but do accept our assurance you will not be overlooked. Any patients with severely reduced sight in both eyes will be contacted and given a new date as soon as possible. Any delay in cataract surgery will not damage your eye.

Eye drops/medication
If you require any repeat medications please contact your GP by telephone, email or online to request a prescription but avoid making an appointment. Your local pharmacy may be able to deliver any medications or you can ask a friend or neighbour to collect on your behalf if you are isolating. Only if you are unable to obtain medications locally, please contact our pharmacy department on 0207 566 2361.

Emergency eye care
If you develop any of the following symptoms that warrant urgent review please call the Moorfields Emergency Department helpline on 020 7566 2345 for advice.

  • Sudden loss or blurring of vision
  • Increasingly red and painful eyes
  • Yellow/green discharge

We continue to run emergency services for any patients that require this.
If you are unsure whether to attend our Accident and Emergency clinic please contact us using the details given at the end of the page
Any patients with symptoms of COVID-19 must contact the hospital before attending in person

Common problems after cataract surgery
Mild gritty, sore, itchy and dry eyes. These are common symptoms experienced after cataract surgery and are not serious. They will usually resolve in 2-3 months after surgery. Lubricating eye drops can be purchased online or locally and may offer short term relief

Eye red/sore eye after stopping drops. This can be due to a recurrence of post-operative inflammation inside the eye. Please contact the hospital for advice

I think I have a loose stitch. What should I do?
Cataract surgery is usually performed without the need for any stitches. If you were informed a stitch was used and it becomes loose, your eye will become red and irritated. You should attend the Moorfields Accident and Emergency department if this is the case.

My vision is blurry after cataract surgery. What should I do?
It can take a few weeks for the vision to reach its full potential after cataract surgery. Any blurry vision that remains is likely due to the focus of the eye and can usually be corrected by weak spectacles. If the eye is becoming increasingly blurry you should contact the hospital for advice

Moorfields Cataract Information Leaflet
This provides further useful information. Please access here

Contact Details
You can contact us about any upcoming appointments using moorfields.covid19bookingenquiry@nhs.net

When emailing us, please include the following information:
Name, Hospital/NHS number, Date of Birth, Postcode, Contact number

If you are concerned about your eye health, please contact our nurse-led helpline on 0207 566 2345 for advice

Our A&E is based at Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London EC1V 2PD. Tel: 020 7253 3411

Our pharmacy department can be contacted on 0207 566 2361

Last updated: 25th June 2020