What Is An Eye Emergency?
Sudden vision changes or eye injury require immediate attention. Any direct trauma to the eye or ocular region should be assessed by a health professional as soon as possible. Seek medical treatment if you experience any of the following:
- Chemical exposure
- Flashes of light
- Floating spots
- Scratches to the eye surface
- Severe allergic reaction
- Infection of the eye or ocular region
- Sudden vision loss
We offer emergency eye care during our regular office hours. Call us for an emergency appointment. If we’re unavailable, head to your nearest emergency room.
What You Can Do During an Eye Emergency
Finding an emergency care center is the priority for treating an eye injury or emergency condition. Never attempt treatment or repair without the direct guidance of a health professional.If immediate help is unavailable, here’s what you should do to prevent further injury and improve treatment odds.
Rinsing your eye is the first step, tilting your head so that your affected eye is down and to the side. Next, use cool water to flush the area, including your eyelids and surrounding skin. It’s also crucial to wash your hands with soap and water to clear your skin of chemicals.
If your clothes were also exposed to the chemicals, remove the clothing without pulling it over your head.
Chemical eye burns include three categories: acid burns, alkali burns, and irritants. Some of the most common eye exposure to chemicals includes household substances like cleaning products, fertilizers, drain cleaners (lye), nail polish remover, and vinegar.
If a foreign object becomes stuck in your eyes, do not rub your eyes. Avoid directly touching your eye.
If the foreign object is small or undetectable by the naked eye, you may first attempt to clear your eyes at home. Small foreign objects may include sand, dust, pollen, slivers, or hair.
Start with increased blinking to induce tear production. You can also apply artificial tears or gently flush with cool, clean water. It’s best to clean your hands thoroughly before touching the eye area.
You may carefully pull your lower lid to inspect the area, but do not insert anything to try to pry out a foreign object.
If the foreign object is large, seek medical attention immediately. Do not remove the object yourself. Avoid any pressure or contact with your eye or the object. You may carefully cover the area with a sterile cloth to prevent additional aggravation. Although it may be difficult, try not to move your affected eye.
Other eye injuries, such as bruises (black eye), abrasions, trauma, or orbital (eye socket) fractures, will require individual treatment methods. Do not apply pressure or directly touch the affected area.
Symptoms often include swelling, bruising, pain, or redness. After eye trauma, you can gently flush your eyes in case of a foreign object or bleeding. However, it’s best to avoid disturbing the ocular area until an eye doctor or medical professional examines the injury.
Located between Charleston and Mount Pleasant, SC, you can find us at the corner of Daniel Island Drive and Seven Farms Drive, next to Orlando’s Pizza. We have parking in front and a large lot behind our building.