Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Scheme

What is NI PEARS?

Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (NI PEARS) is a service provided by Sinead McGurk Opticians for patients who develop a sudden eye problem.

The NI PEARS service is for patients who develop a sudden eye condition such as:

Red eye(s)Pain and/or discomfort in the eyes, or around the eye areaSudden reduction in vision in one or both eyesRecent onset or sudden increase of flashes and/or floaters in one or both eyesSuspected foreign body in the eye

If you are unsure whether your symptoms qualify you for an NI PEARS examination please contact our practice for advice.

You can contact our practice directly. This is known as self-referral. 

Alternatively, if you are making an appointment to see your GP or consulting your community pharmacist about your eye problem, you may be advised to attend your optometrist for an NI PEARS assessment.

Appointments are available during normal working hours and you will be seen within 48 hours.

What happens at an NI PEARS assessment?

The optometrist will discuss your eye problem including the symptoms you may have, any history of eye problems and related medical history.

You will be given a thorough eye assessment to enable the optometrist to investigate your condition. The optometrist will explain your condition and may:

Give advice and treatment if required.


Refer you to your GP if your eye condition is related to your general health


Refer you directly to the hospital eye service if the condition is more serious.

The optometrist may also recommend a follow up appointment.