August 24, 2021
When was the last time you had an accident or suffered an injury? Your most recent incident may not have affected your eyes, but the chances are that at some point, you will almost certainly have an accident or injury that does.
Our eyes are extremely sensitive. They are also absolutely essential for our vision, meaning anything that affects them could also alter our ability to see clearly – potentially permanently. Knowing what is classed as an eye emergency can help ensure that you get the right professional help when you need it most, and this could preserve your long-term vision.
There is a wide range of different elements that can contribute to an eye injury, but some are more common than others. If you work in any of the following industries or take part in activities within them on a paid or recreational basis, you could be at greater risk of experiencing trauma to your eyes:
Sports also present a significant risk of injury, particularly if you are involved in contact sports or those where an object is moving at speed, such as lacrosse or baseball.
These are some of the most common types of eye emergencies that we deal with on a regular basis:
Chemical burns are extremely common and can occur directly or indirectly. For example, you could accidentally spray perfume or a chemical directly into your eyes, or you could transfer a chemical that is on your hands onto your eyes if you fail to wash them properly first. Unsurprisingly, chemical burns can be very painful. They can also severely compromise your vision, potentially permanently if you don’t get the right treatment. Your eye doctor will advise you to rinse your eye immediately, running cool fresh water into it for at least 15 minutes before even attempting to get in for an emergency appointment. This could make all the difference to the outcome of your vision.
Foreign object in the eye
Most of us have had something in our eyes during our lifetime. Usually, this is a tiny piece of debris that causes irritation, watering, and mild discomfort, and can be removed by careful flushing of the eye. However, sometimes a foreign object in the eye can be more serious. We strongly advise that you don’t rub your eyes as this could cause abrasions and make the effects worse. Instead, cover the eye with a paper cup or eye shield from your first aid kit, and come in to see us immediately.
Sudden visual changes or eye pain
Minor visual disturbances can usually be dealt with at a scheduled routine eye appointment. However, if you start to notice significant changes in your vision, persistent eye pain, or a combination of the two, something much more serious could be happening and it’s imperative that you make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as you can. It could be that you have developed an issue such as acute glaucoma or retinal detachment, which requires prompt treatment to prevent permanent damage to your vision.
For more advice on eye emergencies, please visit Eye Associates of New York in New York, NY. Call (212) 650-4888 today to schedule an appointment.