Eye Emergencies

What is an eye emergency?

If you suffer an injury to your eye, whether from a foreign object or a chemical exposure, or if you notice your eye is red and discharging, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Eye injuries and infections can cause significant discomfort and might need urgent care. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your healthcare provider right away in these situations.

Symptoms of an eye emergency

  • Irritation or itchiness
  • Red or pink eyes
  • Stinging or burning
  • Foreign object stuck in your eye
  • Pain
  • Double Vision
  • Burns
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • New sensitivity to light
  • Sudden changes in pupil size
  • New “floaters” in your field of view
  • Dark shadows gliding across your vision
  • Sudden vision loss, in one or both eyes

If you need emergency eye care, promptly reach out to an eye care specialist in your vicinity capable of offering immediate medical assistance.

Eye infection (red/pink Eye)

There are various factors that can lead to eye infections, including viruses, bacteria, or exposure to irritants. Individuals who use contact lenses face a higher risk of developing eye infections. If you suspect you have an eye infection, it’s important to stop wearing your contact lenses and consult with an emergency eye care professional for a thorough evaluation.

Signs of an eye infection:
  • Discharge that is green, yellow, or bloody (white or cream colored discharge is normal)
  • Red eyes or eyelids
  • Feeling that something is stuck in your eye
  • Eye pain
  • A white or gray sore on your iris
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision, or other vision changes
  • Fever, with no other cause

What to do if a foreign object is stuck in your eye

When something as small as a speck of dust or an eyelash gets into your eye, it can be quite uncomfortable, but there’s no need to worry excessively. Most of the time, you can take care of it yourself by following these simple steps to remove the irritant safely:

  1. Start by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water to avoid introducing any additional irritants or bacteria into your eye.
  2. Use a mirror to help you see where the object is in your eye.
  3. Try to blink your eyes several times. This action helps to produce tears, which can naturally help to flush out the foreign object. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as this could potentially worsen the situation.
  4. If you think the object is stuck under your upper eyelid, gently pull the upper eyelid out and over the lower eyelid, then roll your eyes upward. This movement might help to dislodge the object.
  5. For objects caught under the lower eyelid or in the corner of your eye, lightly use a moist, soft cloth or a cotton swab to carefully remove it.
  6. Another method is to use lukewarm water to rinse your eye. Hold your eye open while placing it above a cup of lukewarm water, then gently pour water into your eye to flush out the foreign object.

It’s important to treat your eyes with great care since they are very sensitive. If you’re unable to remove the object on your own, or if you suspect the object has scratched the surface of your eye, remain calm and reach out for emergency eye care as soon as possible to safeguard your vision.

If you need emergency eye care, immediately contact an eye doctor near you, who can provide emergency eye care.