Few things are more alarming than when you experience issues with your vision. Whether a foreign object or pink eye, seeking medical attention for an urgent eye care emergency is vital. Unfortunately, many hospitals and urgent care centers are ill-equipped to treat common eye injuries which is why it’s recommended to see your eye care provider as soon as possible. A few common eye conditions that require urgent eye care services include, but are not limited to:
- Eye trauma
- Foreign objects
- Chemical injuries
- Pink eye
- Flashes and floaters
Let’s read on to explore what conditions require urgent eye care services, and steps you can take to prevent further injury.
Conditions That Require Urgent Eye Care Services
There are many injuries and symptoms that require urgent eye care services, but a few are more common than others. It’s helpful to become familiar with these conditions, so you know what to do the next time you or a loved one is experiencing issues with vision.
#1. Eye Trauma
If you or a loved one are involved in a traumatic experience that affects the eyes, the damage might not be recognizable right away. Black eyes are a common indicator of eye trauma, but can also be a sign of more extensive damage. Whether you have been poked in the eye or taken a recent fall, it’s crucial that you see an urgent eye care professional following the traumatic event.
#2. Foreign Objects
When a foreign object gets in your eye, you must follow specific instructions to ensure further damage doesn’t occur. It’s best not to rub your eye as the object can become deeply embedded or the surface of the eye can be scratched. Until you can get to a urgent eye care clinic, you should:
- Blink repeatedly to attempt to get the object to dislodge itself
- Avoid rubbing your eye
- Try to use an eyewash or artificial tears to flush the object out
- Never try to extract it on your own
- Watch carefully to see if there is irritation or any other symptoms
#3. Chemical Injuries
Most commonly, chemical injuries occur in a work environment. However, you can also experience a chemical injury from common household cleaning products. If a chemical gets into your eyes, it’s vital that you seek urgent eye care immediately. Until then, you should wash any remaining chemicals from your hands, and flush your eyes out with clean water or saline. If you wear contact lenses, they should be removed immediately.
#4. Pink Eye
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is a highly contagious and uncomfortable condition that requires antibiotic eye drops. If you cannot see your doctor, you must avoid coming into contact with others. A few symptoms of pink eye include:
- Pink or red coloring in the white of the eye
- Increased tear production
- Itching, irritation, and burning
- Having an urge to rub your eyes
If a stye is developing in your eye, it’s usually not difficult to tell. You will likely feel irritation similar to a piece of sand being stuck in your eye. Styes occur as a result of blepharitis or the inflammation of your eyelid. If blepharitis is left untreated, styes can develop. Most commonly, styes will drain on their own and can be treated with a warm compression.
#6. Flashes and Floaters
Flashes appear as a brief flash of light that is often sudden. Floaters appear as dark spots, spider webbing, or squiggly lines that invade your vision. When flashes and floaters appear more frequently, they can be indicative of a much larger problem making it vital that you seek medical attention early on.
Finding an Urgent Eye Care Provider
There are many reasons why it’s beneficial to have access to urgent eye care services, and when it comes to your vision, it’s best to be proactive. There are many eye doctors that offer urgent eye care services, and it’s recommended to find one you know and trust so you will know what is going on with your eyes in the event of an emergency. Whether you already have an established provider or beginning the search, below are a few recommended qualities:
- Specialization in urgent eye care: While the candidates you’re considering will have experience in eye care, it’s vital that you verify they specialize in urgent eye care services. Certain procedures or treatment for specific conditions will require specialized training.
- Clear communication: Any time you have an eye appointment with your provider, it’s important that your questions and concerns are addressed and thoroughly answered.
- Hospitality: If it’s your first time seeing an eye care provider, it’s recommended that you pay attention to how you’re treated. How long are you waiting to be seen? Is the provider forthcoming, friendly, and engaged?
- Positive reputation: When choosing your urgent eye care provider, taking time to read patient reviews and exploring affiliations and/or involvement with medical organizations is recommended.
- Availability: While urgent eye care services are usually needed immediately, it’s important to consider how difficult it is to schedule treatment or receive medical attention.
Contact Art of Optiks Today
The award-winning care team at Art of Optiks is dedicated to providing quality eye care services – both urgent and routine. We understand how valuable eye care is for every age, and are devoted to making every patient comfortable. If you find yourself in need of urgent eye care services, we encourage you to visit or contact one of our locations in Edina or Wayzata today.