Epiphora (watery eyes) Referral Access Criteria

Referrers should use this page when referring patients to public adult ophthalmology outpatient services for epiphora (watery eyes).
Emergency referral
If any of the following are present or suspected, refer the patient to the emergency department or seek emergency medical advice if in a remote region.
  • Nil
Immediate referral
Orange exclamation mark in triangle: orange alertImmediately contact on-call registrar or service to arrange immediate ophthalmology assessment (seen within 7 days):
  • Nil
To contact the relevant service, see HealthPathways: Acute Ophthalmology Assessment (external site)
Presenting issues
If any of these issues are present, refer to outpatient services through the Central Referral Service (CRS).
  • Refractory intolerable symptoms despite initial primary care management (e.g. management of dry eyes and environmental factors)           
Mandatory information
Referrals missing 'mandatory information' with no explanation provided may not be accepted by site. If 'mandatory information' is not included, the explanation must be provided in the body of the referral (e.g. patient unable to access test due to financial reasons or geographical location).

This information is required to inform accurate and timely triage. If unable to attach reports, please include relevant information/findings in the body of the referral and advise where (provider) investigation/imaging was completed.

  • Relevant history, onset and duration of symptoms
  • Details of previous treatment and outcome             
  • Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) - vision with most recent distance spectacles 
  • Nil
Highly desirable
  • Nil            
  • Nil
  • Other relevant optometrist or private ophthalmologist report
Indicative triage category

Category 1

Appointment within 30 days

  •  No defined category 1 criteria

Category 2

Appointment within 90 days

  •  No defined category 2 criteria

Category 3

Appointment within 365 days

  •  Symptomatic epiphora
  • Nil
Useful information


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