Emergency eye care is needed if you find yourself dealing with a problem with your eye that causes pain or affects your vision. Failing to treat eye injuries as soon as they are detected can lead to permanent consequences, like reduced vision or blindness. Common eye injuries that require emergency eye care include: Exposure to…
When Should You Seek Emergency Eye Care?
Emergency eye care services are exactly what you need if you find yourself dealing with an eye infection or injury. Some eye problems that require immediate treatment — like a foreign object stuck in your eyes — are easy to spot, while others might not seem as obvious. Read on to find out which signs may indicate a need for emergency eye care.
Signs you may need emergency eye care
Let us take a look at some of the symptoms and signs that let you know emergency eye care may be needed:
- Debris stuck in an eye
- Trauma to an eye
- Scratches to an eye
- Loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Light flashes interfering with vision
- Irritated or itchy eyes
- Floaters in your vision
- Damaged or lost contact lenses or eyeglasses
Some of the more common eye emergencies optometrists often find themselves dealing with include:
1. Eye injuries
A poke or hit can easily damage a person’s eye. It can lead to issues like a scratched cornea, which comes with irritation, tearing, pain, and a sensation like something is stuck in the eye. If the eye is only irritated by the trauma, a saline solution can be used to clean it out.
If the patient’s cornea has been scratched, the optometrist might treat it by prescribing antibiotics and protecting the eye with a patch. Patients with eye injuries should avoid rubbing them since that only aggravates the problem. Those who wear contacts should stop wearing them until their eye heals.
2. Black eye
A hard blow to the eye typically causes a black eye. It can often be resolved by applying a cold compress to the eye several times a day for a few days. If the injury comes with other symptoms like blood in the colored or white part of the eye, vision problems, or bleeding from the nose, emergency eye care is needed.
3. Debris stuck in the eye
Most people have had something stuck in their eye at some point in their life, and it usually does not require emergency care. Foreign objects in the eye can often be removed by flushing the eye with water or gently pulling on the upper eyelid and blinking so your tears wash it out. If all attempts to remove the object fail, it is time to seek emergency eye care.
4. Red or pink eye
Formally known as conjunctivitis, pink eye is one of the most common types of eye infections, and it requires immediate treatment. It often comes with symptoms like blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, pain, and redness.
5. Floaters in your vision
Having specks in your eyesight is not necessarily a reason to seek urgent eye care since they are often temporary. However, floaters that suddenly appear in a person’s vision, especially after trauma to the eye, can signify retinal tearing or detachment. This requires immediate treatment to prevent permanent damage to the eye.
Frequently asked questions about emergency eye care
Time to go over the answers to some of the questions you have regarding emergency eye care:
1. How do I know if I have an emergency eye condition?
A few symptoms may indicate that a person has an eye emergency. Anyone who experiences sudden vision loss, pain in the eye, or swelling and redness in the eye should seek medical attention immediately. Anyone who experiences any trauma to the eye, such as being hit by an object or rubbing your eyes too hard, should also seek medical attention.
2. What should I do if I think I have an emergency eye condition?
If you think that you may have an emergency eye condition, the first thing you should do is call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. It is crucial to get medical attention as soon as possible so that your condition can be appropriately diagnosed and treated.
3. What are some common emergency eye conditions?
There are a few different emergency eye conditions that you may experience. These include, but are not limited to, detached retina, foreign objects in the eye, and glaucoma. If you encounter any of these conditions, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately to receive the proper treatment.
4. What are some common treatments for emergency eye conditions?
The treatment for an emergency eye condition will vary depending on the specific condition that you have. However, some common treatments include surgery, medication, and/or therapy. It is essential to follow your doctor's instructions so that you can receive the best possible treatment for your condition.
Get the eye care you need
Give us a call or stop by our Mt Vernon clinic to set up an appointment with our optometrist if you find yourself dealing with an eye injury that requires immediate care.
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