Understanding Common Eye Emergencies and When to Seek Medical Attention

Understanding Common Eye Emergencies and When to Seek Medical Attention

Understanding Common Eye Emergencies and When to Seek Medical Attention

Understanding Common Eye Emergencies and When to Seek Medical Attention

Regular eye exams are an excellent way to maintain and protect visual and ocular health. However, emergencies can still occur to endanger your ocular and visual health, requiring you to act promptly to save your eyes.

Some injuries may seem so minor that you fail to take the proper steps and lose sight. Because of this, you must understand what an eye emergency is and when medical intervention is critical.

What is an eye emergency?

An eye emergency can occur due to a disease or an injury to the ocular structures, leading to severe symptoms. Note that you could have an eye emergency with mild symptoms if they can potentially lead to vision loss or ocular damage.

Among the common injuries considered emergencies are foreign objects in the eye, chemical burns, or direct trauma. Some diseases, like glaucoma, can cause sudden symptoms that impact your vision significantly. You must seek medical attention right away if you experience any pain, redness, or swelling in your eyes or around them.


What are the signs of an eye emergency?

Every eye emergency can have symptoms unique to itself, but some cut across the board. The symptoms that may occur with many of the emergencies are:


  • Stinging or burning feeling in your eye

  • Loss of vision

  • Eyes moving in different directions from each other

  • Pupils of different sizes

  • Eye pain

  • An eye that has popped out of the socket

  • Double vision

  • Low vision

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Irritation and eye redness

  • Blood flowing from the eye

  • Bruising in the area around the eye

  • Discharge from any of the eyes

  • Blood forming in the white part of the eye

  • Severe or new headaches

  • Persistent itching

Things You Should Avoid Doing When You Experience the Symptoms Above

Any of the symptoms above could mean you have a serious emergency and should not attempt to self-treat. You may also have the urge to do some of the following, but you should avoid them:
  • Apply pressure or rub your eye

  • Trying to remove large foreign objects that have lodged in your eye

  • Using any tools in your eye

  • Using ointments or medication on any of your injured eyes


What are some common eye emergencies?


Chemical or causal injuries

Caustic burns are usually a result of chemicals, such as cleaning agents, garden chemicals, or industrial chemicals, getting into the eyes. Aerosols and fumes can also cause chemical burns when they encounter the ocular surface.

Chemicals with acid are usually easier and better to treat because their impact can be mitigated easily. However, alkaline chemicals can cause more damage if left untreated, which could lead to permanent corneal damage. If you splash any chemicals, wash your eyes with plenty of water and visit an eye doctor immediately.

Foreign Objects

A small foreign object can be eliminated using tears or water before it causes any damage. However, larger objects require medical attention for safe removal and some minor surgery. Larger objects can lodge in the ocular surface and may damage it permanently, making it critical to seek immediate medical attention.

For more on understanding common eye emergencies and when to seek medical attention, visit Clarity Eye Care at our McKinney, Texas, office. Call or text (972) 954-9595 to schedule an appointment today.

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