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Eye Emergencies

Eye Emergencies

Red, Pink or Sore Eyes…

We strive to look after ALL of your primary eye care needs. In addition to the services you already rely on us for such as routine eye exams, contact lenses,  designer frames and eyeglasses – think of your Optometrist first for:

  • sore, red, or itchy eyes
  • treatment of “pink eye” and other eye  infections/inflammation
  • removal of superficial foreign bodies from the eye (such as wood or metal)
  • treatment of eye allergies or burns

This is convenient and cost effective for your whole family and you can be sure you are receiving the attention of an eye care specialist.

In Case of Eye Emergencies

We are always willing to help, should you ever experience an eye emergency. Our office provides emergency services for eye infections, eye injuries and other eye urgencies.  State of the art equipment allows us to examine the front surface of the eye. We accommodate many eye emergencies such as:

  • Eye infections or inflammation
  • Foreign materials stuck in the eyes
  • Eye trauma
  • Scratched eyes
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Lost or broken contact lenses or eyeglasses
  • Flashes of light in the vision
  • “Floaters” in the vision
  • Red or painful eyes
  • Dislodged contact lenses
  • Uncomfortable, itchy, or irritated eyes

Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of emergency room visits could have been treated by an optometrist. These ranged from foreign bodies to severe eye allergies to eye infections as the most common reasons for emergency room visits. It is almost never necessary to go to an emergency room for eye emergencies. Optometrists are equipped to treat the majority of eye emergencies.

Foreign Body Removal

A foreign body is something such as an eyelash, sawdust, sand, or dirt can that gets into the eyes. The main symptom is irritation or pain. Depending on what it is and how the injury happened, the foreign body may pierce the eye and cause serious injury or it may simply go away with no long-term problem.

The foreign object may set off an inflammatory cascade, resulting in enlargement of the surrounding vessels and subsequent swelling of the lids, conjunctiva (clear membrane over the white part of the eye), and cornea. If not removed, a foreign body can cause infection.

If anything is stuck in your eye for more than a period of a few minutes, you should cease all attempts to remove it yourself. Keep in mind that the eyes are an extremely delicate organ.

If there is a foreign body in your eye, your eye doctor will remove it. They will put anaesthetic eye drops in your eye first in order to numb it and prevent any pain. If the foreign body is laying on the surface of the eye, it may be possible to remove it by simply rinsing your eye with sterile saline, or by wiping it away with a Q-tip. However, if this is unsuccessful, your eye doctor may need to remove the foreign body by lifting it out with the tip of a small metal instrument.

The foreign body could be stuck underneath your upper eyelid. If this is the case, it may be necessary to gently turn your eyelid inside out in order to remove the foreign body. This is not painful, but something that is almost impossible to do on yourself.

Once the anaesthetic eye drops have worn off, your eye may feel a bit uncomfortable until your abrasion heals. The doctor will provide treatment for the pain or discomfort and will make sure a prophylactic antibiotic is used, if necessary, to prevent infection.

It is very important that any metal foreign bodies are removed quickly, as they will cause rust to develop in the eye in as soon as a few hours. The rust will need to be removed to prevent painful inflammation. The longer the metal is in the eye, the deeper the rust goes, and the removal becomes more invasive, painful and slower to heal.

Source: Removing a Foreign Body from Your Eye, article by All rights reserved.