If you’ve had any sudden problems with your sight, the first question you need to ask is, “Is this an ocular emergency?” Why is it so important that you ask yourself this question? Here is the answer: your optical health is just as important as your physical health. You rely on your eyesight heavily. Should something go wrong or issues occur, it is vital that you seek appropriate help immediately. Prolonging aid could cause the issue to escalate and leave irreparable damage. Ocular emergencies should be treated with the same severity as any other kind of emergency involving your health.
Here is a list of issues that are considered ocular emergencies:
- Flashing lights – While normal if you just had your picture taken with the flash on, it is not normal if it occurs at random.
- Floaters – These are spots in your vision, and while they might also occur from looking at the flash of a camera, if no camera was involved and if floaters are accompanied by flashing lights, this poses as a serious problem.
- Sudden Vision Changes – This includes a curtain-like shadow and partial or full vision loss.
- Pain/Discharge – Should this occur, you may have a foreign body (metal or organic) in your eye, an infection, or an allergic reaction. Rubbing the area could make it worse, putting you at risk for a corneal abrasion.
- Damage – This includes chemical burns, trauma from hemorrhages, or blunt force trauma, like a fist to the face.
- Irritations –Ingrown eye lashes, red eyes, and eye lid skin lesions fall under this category.
For whatever reason, should any of these ocular emergencies happen to you, it’s vital that you come in to our ocular emergency walk-in clinic. Should you have an ocular emergency outside of our standard hours, contact our office immediately so you can receive proper treatment.
Being able to see is one of those things most people take for granted. Experiencing an unusual symptom with your eyes is a scary thing, and it is very easy to panic. The reverse is also true– sometimes a symptom is ignored either because of fear of what may be wrong or because it doesn’t seem urgent. It is important to know which ocular emergencies are best to seek treatment for as quickly as possible and how to handle them appropriately.
Pain in the eyes is never normal and should not be ignored. You also shouldn’t do any home remedy attempts to lessen the pain. Ocular emergencies of this type should be treated by a professional to avoid further damage to the eye. You should rest your eye, keeping it closed until you can get someone to drive you to an optometrist or the hospital.
Sudden vision loss is another situation which should be taken seriously. Often this condition is just temporary, but it is important to get to the cause of it. Other symptoms that impede vision, such as halos, flashes, streaks of light, double vision, and sudden blurring of vision, should all be addressed as soon as possible. Care should be taken to keep your head as immobile as possible while having someone transport you to a professional.
If you experience any of these ocular emergencies, give us a call at Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry. We accept walk-ins for ocular emergencies throughout the week on a first come, first serve basis. Calling ahead to speak with our staff will aid in being accommodated as quickly as possible.
There are many different types of ocular emergencies that can occur, so it is important to know how to respond in each situation. An improper or delayed response can cause permanent eye or vision damage.
• For a small object in the eye, such as an eyelash, it is important to not rub your eyes. Make sure your hands or the hands of the person helping you are clean, look for the object in the eye and gently remove with a cotton swab, or flush the object out.
• For a larger object stuck in the eye, it is imperative to not pull the object out and seek help immediately. When something is stuck in your eye, it is best for the eye to be still and the only way to do this is by covering both eyes. Only covering the injured eye will still allow for sympathetic eye movement.
• If you experience a chemical injury to your eye, you need to wash your eye out with water or saline and then seek help immediately.
These are all examples of ocular emergencies. Having a sudden change in vision, seeing spots of light, or having persistent eye pain are also considered ocular emergencies. Remember, delaying treatment for an ocular emergency can cause permanent eye damage, so contact us at Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry to see one of our optometrists as soon as possible.