3 Eye Emergencies An Optometrist Can Help With

3 Eye Emergencies An Optometrist Can Help With

Many patients are unaware that their optometrist is actually the first person to visit when dealing with an eye emergency. It has been ingrained in our heads that we should call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room right away in case of an emergency. However, the same is not true when it comes to our eyes. Your best bet is to visit your optometrist instead. Why? Because optometrists are specialized in dealing with ocular emergencies, are equipped with the appropriate tools,  and are your best bet for getting proper treatment right away. 

Eye emergencies refer to any sudden onset of symptoms or obvious eye trauma that affects vision. They can range from severe eye pain to sudden vision loss or chemical exposure. Without proper treatment from an optometrist, eye injuries can lead to partial vision loss or permanent blindness. Here are some common symptoms of eye emergencies:

  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Different pupil sizes
  • One eye is sticking out or bulging
  • Light sensitivity
  • Bleeding from the eye
  • Blood in the white part of the eye
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Severe itching, irritation, or pain
  • Redness
  • Bruising

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, book an appointment with your eye doctor right away to prevent the condition from worsening and to begin treatment right away.

Common Eye Emergencies

Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment occurs when there is a tear or hole in the retina causing it to pull away from its normal position at the back of your eye. It is more common in those who suffer from nearsightedness. The symptoms of retinal detachment include increased floaters, flashes of light, and gradual vision loss. If the retina detaches too much, you will be at risk of permanent vision loss. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with retinal detachment, see your eye doctor as soon as possible. 

Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma
If the drainage apparatus of your eye suddenly closes, it can result in a severe increase in eye pressure. Fluid drains out of your eye through a system of canals. These canals live in between your iris (coloured part of the eye) and your cornea (the clear part of the eye). When your iris and cornea move too close together, it completely blocks these canals, not allowing any fluid to drain. This causes a sudden increase in eye pressure that is often very painful. The pressure that quickly builds up can damage your optic nerve resulting in permanent vision loss. 

Orbital Cellulitis
Orbital cellulitis is an infection of the eyeball and the tissue surrounding it. It often occurs as a complication from a sinus infection, from trauma to the eye itself, or from infection of the tear duct, teeth, or ear. Symptoms associated with orbital cellulitis include severe pain when attempting to move the eye, swelling, redness, and tenderness to touch around the eye. Double vision or blurry vision may occur as well as proptosis (bludging of the eye). Orbital cellulitis must be treated right away with antibiotics, but may also require surgery. 

Visit Us Today For Your Eye Emergency Needs

If you have an eye emergency, seek treatment right away. Timing is everything when it comes to eye injuries, so it is important that you do not delay receiving treatment in order to avoid partial or full vision loss. Try to visit your optometrist first when it comes to eye emergencies as they will be more knowledgeable when it comes to providing effective, immediate treatment. 

If you are experiencing sudden changes in your vision or have suffered an eye injury, take immediate action by contacting our team of experienced emergency optometrists who have the expertise and tools to relieve your painful and uncomfortable symptoms to protect your vision. Contact Sunridge Eye Clinic by calling  403-280-7518 or by filling out our online contact form.

FAQs

Q: Can an eye emergency cause permanent vision loss?
A: If you are suffering from an eye emergency and delay treatment, more severe conditions may occur leading to permanent vision loss. This is why it is very important to visit your optometrist as soon as possible when you have an eye emergency.

Q: What should I not do if I have an eye emergency?
A: If you suffer from an eye emergency or eye trauma, please do not:

  • Rub your eye
  • Attempt to remove foreign objects
  • Put any ointments or medication in your eye

Q: What is the best way to protect my eyes?
A: Some of the best ways to protect your eyes include wearing protective goggles or glasses when working with power tools or in an industry that requires wearing PPE as well as wearing sunglasses daily when outside to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.


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