Emergency Eye Care

Eye Institute of Alberta, RAH

Your Visit

Assessing Your Eye

We do not accept walk-ins. If you have an eye emergency, contact your physician / optometrist or proceed to the nearest urgent care facility or hospital emergency department. They will have access to contacting our emergency eye team for assistance and will be able to refer you to our emergency eye care centre accordingly.

What to Bring

You will need:

  • your Alberta health care card and photo ID for registration
  • a list of current medications / health concerns
  • your up-to-date prescription glasses
  • sunglasses, which will help with the glare and light sensitivity when you leave your appointment if you are dilated


Parking fees in the parking lot and parkades are in effect 24 hours a day. We recommend you park in the SE Parkade. The SE Parkade is on Kingsway Ave and 101st (next to the Esso station).

Finding Us

For hours of operation, including after hours and statutory holidays, view our service listing:

During Regular Hours of Operation

Located within the Eye Clinic (ATC 1111) on the main floor of the Active Treatment Centre (main building) at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Upon arrival, register with our admitting staff and they will help direct you.

After Hours / Statutory Holidays

Emergency eye care is provided in the outpatient eye rooms located on the second floor (Unit 22) of the Active Treatment Centre at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Register at the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s Emergency Department admitting desk and tell them you have an arrival time with the ophthalmologist on-call. They will register you and direct you to Unit 22.

What to Expect

Once you arrive at the clinic, you will need to check in at the registration desk.

Waiting times may vary considerably depending on the time of day, how busy the department is and if there are any emergencies at the time. You may be in the clinic for several hours so come prepared. If other tests have been ordered on the day of the clinic visit, there may be periods of waiting between appointments. We estimate that you will be at the clinic for two to three hours.

During your visit, you will be seen initially by an ophthalmic personnel who will review your history, medications, check your vision and put in eye drops. They may perform some additional testing dependent on the reason of your referral. You will be asked to wait in the waiting room until a space becomes available.

Please note that you may be dilated. If you are being dilated, arrange for a driver to assist you in returning home. When your eyes are dilated, your vision will be blurry. You will have trouble focusing on close objects. You also will be extra sensitive to bright light. This usually lasts four to six hours.

You will meet with the eye physician-in-training (resident ophthalmologist) and they will examine you. The resident ophthalmologist will then consult with the eye physician (ophthalmologist) and they will discuss your history, physical examination results as well as any testing you have had done at your appointment. The ophthalmologist will discuss and explain your eye concern and determine the kind of treatment and management required.

Following your clinic appointment a letter will be sent to your referring physician or optometrist. If there are any follow up appointment or tests related to your visit, they will be ordered and scheduled before you leave the clinic.

Alert the Eye Clinic staff if you do not feel well while you are in the waiting room so a nurse can assess and provide assistance as required.