Common Eye Emergencies
Some eye injuries happen more frequently than others. Queensway Optometric Centre is dedicated to keeping you and your eyes healthy. Here are a few first aid steps you should take if you experience any of these common eye emergencies.
Our eyes are incredibly sensitive. If anything gets in them, it can cause irritation and even damage. Should you get any chemicals in your eyes, flush your eyes immediately. Using the nearest source of cool, clean water, flush your eye for at least 15 minutes.
Even if your eyes begin to feel better after only a few minutes, it is imperative that you continue to flush for the entire 15 minutes so you can be sure all residual traces of the chemical have been washed away. Any chemical traces that remain can cause damage later.
Your cornea is the front surface of your eye, the clear dome that covers your iris and pupil. Like other areas of your eye, it is incredibly delicate and can be easily damaged. A scratch or impact can make your eye vulnerable to infection.
If you experience a corneal abrasion, do not rub your eye. This may make the situation worse by moving the debris around and causing more damage. Instead, gently rinse your eye with clean, cool water to remove any debris and seek professional medical attention immediately.
If there is an object embedded in your eye, do not rub your eye or attempt to remove the object as this may cause further damage. Instead, proceed to the nearest hospital immediately.
If there is a loose object trapped between your eyelid and your eye, or resting on the surface of your eye, avoid rubbing your eye. Instead, you can attempt to dislodge the object by flushing your eye with clean, cool water. Once you dislodge the object, seek medical attention.
Do not try to remove the object using your fingers or a pair of tweezers, as this may cause further damage. If you cannot remove the object by flushing your eye, seek medical attention immediately.
While there are many different causes for red or bloodshot eyes, it can be important to distinguish between these sudden symptoms and what is usually referred to as “pink eye”—inflammation as a result of allergic, bacterial, or viral causes.
Red eyes can be caused by purely environmental factors or appear as an unfortunate side effect of a pre-existing eye condition. These can range from something as simple as dust or smoke to more complex afflictions like corneal ulcers.
Sudden Flashes & Floaters
Have you ever experienced the annoying and distracting “eye floater”? These are not usually cause for alarm. But if you consistently experience vague specks drifting across your field of vision, and especially if they are accompanied by sudden flashes of light, you should contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
These symptoms could indicate vitreous detachment, a condition that could lead to retinal detachment. If you are unsure whether your eye floaters are a warning sign, please contact us for an emergency eye care assessment.