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From eye diseases to injuries, an eye emergency can entail many things and occur in many different situations. An eye emergency is anything that puts your ocular health, vision, and eyesight at risk.

It can be scary and stressful to know where to go in the case of an eye emergency. At Advanced Eye Physician, we aim to accommodate emergencies as best as possible. If you need emergency medical help, please call our clinic and let us know so we can assist you. If it is outside regular clinic hours, please visit your nearest urgent care center or emergency room.

Common Eye Emergencies

Some common eye emergencies we can treat at Advanced Eye Physician include:

  • Corneal abrasions (scratches)
  • Foreign objects in the eye
  • Chemical eye burns
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Partial or complete vision loss
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Flashes and floaters
  • Eye disease

Even if an injury seems mild, it can still lead to complications or vision changes. Some injuries, like retinal detachment, can only be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. 

Unfortunately, some eye emergencies are not always obvious. If you notice any of the following symptoms, please call us immediately. They may be indications of a serious eye problem:

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or someone else, get medical help right away. It may be a sign of serious eye injury:

  • Eye pain
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Cut or torn eyelid
  • One eye not moving as well as the other
  • One eye sticking out farther than the other
  • An unusual pupil size or shape
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Foreign body sensation

How to Mitigate an Eye Injury

If you have sustained an eye injury, you can take some steps to help reduce damage to your vision before you get to a doctor.

Chemical Burns

You can sustain a chemical burn on your eye if a chemical (like bleach, vinegar, or drain cleaner) splashes into your eye.

In the case a chemical has entered your eye, flush it immediately with cool, clean water for at least 15 minutes. Even if your eyes feel better, it is crucial to continue flushing your eyes to ensure you remove as much of the chemical as possible. Seek medical attention.

Some chemicals are more dangerous than others, but all chemical eye injuries are emergencies.

Foreign Objects

It is common for small foreign objects, like dust, dirt, or hair, to enter the eyes. While the eye’s natural system usually flushes these out, you can help remove them by flushing them out with clean water or artificial tears. Occasionally, they can scratch the cornea, which may require antibiotics to prevent infection.

Follow these first aid steps if you have something in your eye:

  • DO NOT rub your eye.
  • DO NOT use tweezers around your eye.
  • Blink and encourage your tears to flush out the object.
  • Lift your upper eyelid over the lashes of your lower lid to let your eyelashes try brushing the object out.
  • Use eyewash, saline solution, or clean, running tap water to flush your eye.
  • Call Advanced Eye Physician or go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible if you cannot get the object out of your eye or if it feels like something is still in your eye after you have removed it.

Larger or sharper items, like glass or metal, can cause significant damage and require a medical professional to remove them. If a sharp foreign object has gotten in your eye, do not rub your eyeCall us immediately or visit your nearest emergency room.

Blunt Trauma

A blow to the face or eye can result in many different eye injuries, like a black eye, corneal abrasion, or retinal detachment. If you get hit in the face or eye, gently apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain (DO NOT use food items that can introduce bacteria into the eye).

If you develop a black eye or experience pain or vision changes even after a light blow, call us immediately or visit your nearest emergency room. Your injury may be more serious than it looks.