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Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)

What is the Minor Eye Conditions Service?

The Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) provides assessment and treatment for people with recently occurring minor eye problems. It is an NHS service provided by accredited optometrists (also commonly called opticians).

What Conditions Can Be Treated by the Service?

If you are experiencing:

  • Red eye or eyelids
  • Dry, gritty or uncomfortable eyes
  • Eye irritation and inflammation
  • A lot of recent discharge from the eye or watery eye
  • Recently occurring flashes or floaters
  • Painful eye
  • Ingrowing lashes
  • Recent and sudden loss of vision
  • Foreign body in the eye

…you can arrange an appointment with an optometrist through the Minor Eye Conditions service.

MECS eye
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Who Is The Service For?

The service is for people of all ages. Children under 16 years must be accompanied at their appointment by an adult. You do not need a GP referral to use this service.

This service is available in many parts of England. Search our directory to find out whether the service is available in your area by entering the postcode for your GP practice.

Download our Minor Eye Problems leaflet to find out more.

How Do I Book an Appointment With the Service?

When you have chosen an optical practice that is convenient for you, you can book the appointment yourself. This is called Self Referral.

You should telephone the practice directly to make an appointment. Please do not visit the practice without first making an appointment.

When you telephone the practice, you will be asked some questions about your symptoms so the team can assess how quickly you need to be seen.

Depending on your symptoms, you will be seen within 24 hours or a few working days. Your consultation may take the form of a telephone, video or in-person appointment.

If your symptoms are mild, you may be advised to contact your local pharmacists for simple treatment and over-the-counter medication.

MECS appointments are available during normal working hours. Some optometry practices offer evening and weekend appointments.

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Useful Information

Click here to download our Minor Eye Conditions Service leaflet to find out more.

The College of Optometrists provide useful information on a range of eye conditions on their website lookafteryoureyes.org

Click the links below for useful information and videos on:

Blurred Vision

Dry Eye

Flashes and Floaters