How to Manage Common Eye Emergencies

Any sudden change in vision or problem with your eyes calls for a prompt response. As the eye is a crucial and sensitive part of the human body, it needs complete care. There are various eye conditions and emergency injuries that require immediate medical attention.


How the Parts of Your Eye Work to Produce Vision


The design of the different parts of your eye is unique, each one contributing to good vision. The cornea is your eye’s outer layer. Light passes through it, travels through an opening in your eye called a pupil, and then passes through the lens of your eye. The iris — the colored part of your eye that has muscles — determines the size of your pupil. 


The parts of the eye work like the lens of a camera. They focus and work together in controlling the amount of light entering the eye. The back wall of your eye has a lining called the retina. Its light-sensitive cells act exactly like a camera’s light-sensitive back. In a camera, this is where the visual images develop first. Similarly, your brain gets information from your retina before processing it into an image that it can understand.


Common Eye Emergencies

The following are the common eye emergencies that require immediate treatment:


  • Trauma to the eye - This can happen through scrapes or cuts on the eye’s inner or outer layer, foreign objects inside the eye, or having puncture wounds. The symptoms are eye redness, pain, or even loss of vision

  • Exposure of the eye to harmful chemicals - The symptoms include tearing, eye redness, eye pain, and vision decrease

  • Retinal detachment - This occurs when the retina pulls away from the back of the eye. It causes specks in your vision field called floaters, flashing lights, and loss of vision

  • Acute glaucoma - This is when there is sudden pressure inside the eye. The symptoms include nausea and vomiting, vision changes, eye pain, and eye redness

  • Retinal vein occlusion or retinal artery occlusion - This occurs when the vessels that transmit blood to and from the retina experience blockage. The most common symptom is painless vision loss


Managing Common Eye Emergencies 


Eye injuries can cause serious complications. Be sure not to apply pressure on your eye by rubbing it. Do not put any kind of medication in your eye. If you have sudden pain inside the eye, bleeding, swelling, or vision loss, rush to the nearest emergency room.


Exposure of your eye to harmful chemicals needs a prompt response. 


  • Immediately wash your hands using soap and clean water

  • Turn or tilt your head to ensure the injured eye is facing down or the side

  • Flush your eye with clean water for 15 minutes while holding your eyelid wide open

  • Rush to an emergency room as quickly as you possibly can


Eye Emergency Evaluation


An eye examination will typically involve assessing the movement of your injured eye, vision tests, and the use of specialized equipment to help assess pressure within the affected part and the other parts of your eye.


Eye Treatment at the Doctor


Eye emergency treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Your doctor may opt for eyedrops, eye medication, or even surgery. 


For more on how to manage common eye emergencies, contact Optique Vision at our office in Albany, New York. You can also call (518) 302-2106 today to book an appointment.

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