What Should You Do in an Eyecare Emergency?

Mar 12, 2020
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Having a sudden emergency with your eyes can be very unnerving. Here’s how to recognize when your eyes need emergency care and what to do about it.

It’s happened to all of us. You may scratch your eye or splash it with a chemical. You might not be sure if you need to seek emergency care for your eye. You may not even know what to do immediately following the incident.

At Vision Corner in Houston, Texas, Dr. Sophia W. Barnes is here to assist you with all of your eye care needs. That’s why she's compiled this helpful guide to eye care emergencies, how to recognize them and what you need to do when they occur. 

How to tell if you have an eye injury

It’s important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms, especially if they occur after an injury, a scratch, or a foreign substance enter your eyes:

  • Swelling
  • Redness 
  • Pain
  • Loss of vision
  • Eye bleeding
  • Double vision
  • Different size pupils 
  • Eye pain that doesn’t subside on its own
  • Eye pain and a headache 

If you have an eye emergency and don’t seek medical care, you could risk partial or even complete permanent blindness. You’ll also want to seek emergency eye care if your eye or the skin surrounding your eye receives a blow or is cut. 

Things not to do in an eye emergency

A few things could exacerbate the problem after an eye injury. You’ll want to avoid the following:

  • Rubbing your eyes
  • Using a foreign object like a cotton swab or tweezer on your eye
  • Touching your eyes, especially without washing your hands first
  • Removing a foreign object that’s been lodged in your eye

In some instances, glass or plastic can become embedded in your eye. If this happens, it is best to go to an emergency room. You should never remove such objects on your own. Always leave the object in your eye and seek emergency care right away. 

What to do if you have contacts

In the case of an eye injury, you’ll want to avoid taking out your contacts, except in instances in which your eyes swell rapidly. You’ll also want to remove your contact if you’ve gotten a harsh chemical in your eye.        

The importance of seeking emergency care

Most eye emergencies can be successfully treated with few permanent effects if you seek medical care right away. Emergency medical care for your eyes is so important to avoid being placed at serious risk of blindness. So, it’s always best to be safe. Call us at 713-623-2000 or set up an appointment on our website when you’re experiencing an eye care emergency.