According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), many believe that eye injuries occur on the job – especially in factories and construction sites. However, nearly half of eye injuries occur in the home or during extracurricular activities. That’s right; individuals of every age are susceptible to experiencing an eye injury in various environments, meaning eye injuries are more common than many think. Becoming familiar with the symptoms that require urgent care services, the different types of eye injuries, and proper preventative measures is highly recommended. This information will help you navigate an emergency in the most effective way possible.
What Is an Eye Emergency?
Eye emergencies can cover a variety of incidents and conditions, with each having its own specific symptoms. However, most commonly, an eye emergency occurs when a foreign object or chemicals enter your eye or when an injury affects the eye area. There are numerous symptoms that can mean your eye(s) have become injured, and you must seek medical treatment immediately as improper treatment could lead to permanent vision loss.
- Bleeding from the eye
- Different size pupils
- Double vision
- Abnormal discharge
- Burning or stinging
- Light sensitivity
- Eye pain
Common Types of Emergency Eye Injuries
Many different types of eye injuries require emergency attention — however, the most common fall into three categories: trauma, chemical injury, and foreign objects. Read on to learn about each of these categories and why scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor is vital.
Certain types of trauma can result in an eye injury. If you get a black eye after some sort of impact, bruising and swelling can occur to the tissue surrounding the eye. Abnormal discoloration is likely to develop as well, but these symptoms usually subside within a matter of weeks. Skull fractures and direct impact to the eye can also result in bruising, swelling, and bleeding. If you’re suffering from any type of trauma to your eye(s), it’s best to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor so damage can be assessed and proper treatment can be provided.
Many chemical injuries occur in work-related scenarios, but your eyes can also become damaged by chemicals at home. Everyday household products like garden chemicals, solvents, and cleaning solutions can be damaging along with fumes and aerosols. Certain chemicals can cause chemical burns and permanent damage to the cornea if not treated right away. If your eye(s) come in contact with chemicals, it’s best to take the following steps immediately:
- Wash your hands to remove unwanted chemicals
- Flush the affected eye with large amounts of clean water or saline
- Try to remove contact lenses, if applicable
- Seek medical attention immediately
Dust, sand, and other debris can enter your eye(s) when you least expect it. Whether you work construction, are playing baseball outside, completing spring cleaning, or leaf blowing after yard work, it’s vital to practice proper eye safety. Unfortunately, foreign objects can cause damage to your cornea and lens, resulting in altered vision, sensitivity to light, persistent pain, and more. If a foreign object is discovered in your eye, the following steps are recommended:
- Do not rub your eye
- Blink excessively to try and remove naturally
- Utilize artificial tears to rinse out the foreign object
- Contact your eye doctor if the object cannot be removed or irritation persists
Keep in mind; if a larger foreign object like glass or metal becomes stuck in your eye, you must not attempt to remove it on your own. It’s recommended to avoid moving the affected eye as much as possible and place a clean piece of cloth to keep the area protected until your eye doctor conducts a thorough examination.
How to Avoid Further Injury
If you or a loved one has recently sustained an eye injury, it’s vital that you remember that severe complications can result – especially if proper steps aren’t taken. In the heat of action, it may be tempting to try and treat the situation yourself. There are many actions you should avoid to prevent further injury:
- Rub or apply pressure to your eye
- Use tools in your eye (tweezers, cotton swabs, etc.)
- Avoid applying medications or ointments
- Removal of foreign objects stuck in your eye
Instead, many eye care clinics, including Art of Optiks, offer urgent care services that allow an experienced eye doctor to evaluate the scenario and provide the best care possible based on your unique situation. While booking an appointment with your eye doctor is highly recommended, there are also numerous steps you can take to protect your eyesight further and avoid the chances of experiencing an emergency eye injury. It’s vital that you regularly wear protective eyewear whenever necessary and practice caution when working with oil, grease, chemicals, and cleaning supplies.
Schedule Your Urgent Care Services Today
Eye injuries happen when we least expect them, and unfortunately, if left untreated, lasting effects can occur. It’s vital that you’re familiar with the symptoms of eye injuries that require immediate medical attention, so proper steps can be taken to preserve your or your loved one’s vision. From red eye and corneal abrasion to eye infections, sudden vision loss, foreign body removal, and more, the urgent care team at Art of Optiks has worked with patients suffering from a wide range of emergency eye injuries. We’re only a phone call away, so book your urgent care services today.