Types of Eye Emergencies and their First Aid

Types of Eye Emergencies and their First Aid

Aug 03, 2021

It’s a good idea to schedule annual eye exams, but at other times you have to pick up your phone and book an urgent appointment with an emergency eye doctor near you.

Our Chevy Chase Eyecare specialist directs that pain is an automatic driver for urgent eye care. It is among the top signs of infections and inflammation that need to be evaluated immediately. The earlier an infection is detected, the better the chances of recovery.

In this article, we look at seven eye emergencies that prompt immediate treatment.

Types of Eye Emergencies

Here are some eye care emergencies that need immediate attention.

  • Traumatic eye injury

Eye emergencies have many causes, but mostly it’s due to accidents.

An accident means that you have a foreign object in your eye, but a traumatic injury could be a burn affecting your eye. You, therefore, need an instant eye checkup by an optical professional. Some severe injuries can cause vision loss, swelling, double vision, reddening, and light sensitivity.

As first aid for an eye injury, apply a cold compress with moderate pressure to minimize pain and swelling. If you have a cut or eye puncture, do not wash or try to remove the object piercing the eye. Instead, cover the eye with a sturdy shield and immediately see an eye doctor.

  • Chemical Burn/ Particles

If you have chemicals in your eye, immediately rinse using running water (preferably saline) for at least 15 minutes. People with contact lenses should first remove them before any first aid.

According to eye specialists, never try to neutralize the said chemical with another type of chemical whatsoever.

If a particle gets in your eye, do not rub the eye. Instead, allow the tears to flush out the particle or use mildly saline water as artificial tears. Steady steam from a saline bottle directly aimed at the eye may dislodge the particle from your eye.

Some particles like metallic particles may leave rust spots in the eye if ignored for days, so if you are unsure that the object is gone, don’t delay getting emergency eye care in Chevy Chase, MD.

  • Noticeable Vision Changes

Sudden vision changes indicate an affected cornea which can cause vision loss if left untreated. In addition, defects like a retinal detachment can cause the victim to see flashing lights or floating spots showers from inside the eye. Thus, it must be proximately addressed.

Vision changes could also be symptoms of a stroke, nerve damage, and other neurological disorders. Corneal inflammation and infections can also lead to sudden vision loss, so it’s critical to have an immediate, professional diagnosis and treatment.

  • Red Eye

Red-eye with a discharge has to be immediately evaluated. The majority of emergency rooms will prescribe antibiotics, which are only fit for bacterial conjunctivitis. This condition (pink eye) is viral, highly contagious, and is common in children.

Pink eye is often confused with uveitis and ocular herpes (which are more severe). So, whenever possible, red-eye must be evaluated instantaneously by an eye care specialist who can determine the type of defect and prescribe the correct treatment.

  • Different Pupils Size

Pupils that differ in size could be a sign of anisocoria. People can get this condition from birth or develop it later as adults, mainly due to traumatic eye injuries.

Anisocoria is a symptom of several problems, like head trauma or neurological issues like stroke and brain tumor.

Therefore, a perceptible variance in pupil sizes of any kind needs immediate evaluation by an eye doctor.

  • Bulging Eyes

Bulging eye care can be caused by damage to the eye socket or irregular blood vessels behind the eye. It can also be a symptom of Grave’s disease, a thyroid condition, or eye socket problems like tumors, inflammation, and bacterial infections.

Infections that cause bulged eyes are an emergency, and if not treated early, can have the infection spread to other eye areas. In some cases, it can affect the brain.

  • Headaches

Unexplained headaches could be symptoms of glaucoma damage. Note that glaucoma is irreversible and can only be contained, so it’s not wise to ignore eye symptoms.

If you are unsure that you have glaucoma, talk to your parents about a family history of glaucoma. If detected early, glaucoma can be treated and minimize the possibility of vision loss.

Book an Appointment

Call us now to book an appointment with our eye doctor near you. We also welcome patients living in Bethesda, Center Drive, South Kensington, Woodside, North Portal Estates, Upper Chevy Chase, Hawthorne, Chevy Chase Terrace, and nearby communities.



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