Common Eye Emergencies and How to Respond

Some eye emergencies like mechanical eye injuries, retinal detachments, and chemical injuries can cause permanent loss of vision. It is paramount that you see a doctor immediately if you suffer from these eye injuries. The regular physician is aware of the different symptoms and can perform an eye exam.


If the damage is severe, the doctor will direct you to an eye specialist. The eye specialist will run various tests to ascertain the extent of the damage. Other eye problems, such as vision loss and painful red eyes that are not caused by injury, need you to see a doctor.




When you have an eye emergency, you are likely to exhibit the following symptoms:


  • Minimized vision

  • Pain in the eye

  • Itchiness of the eyes

  • Migraines

  • Bruising of the eye or eye area

  • Blood or other types of discharge from the eye or around the eye

  • Double vision

  • Losing vision in both eyes or one eye

  • One pupil is bigger than the other

  • Redness of the eyes

  • Light sensitivity

  • Sensation of sand in the eye

  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eye


What to Avoid Doing


An eye injury can cause significant complications. It would be best if you did not treat the damage yourself. Here are some things you should avoid doing:


  • Trying to remove large foreign objects from your eye

  • Trying to use tools like tweezers on your eye. You can use cotton swabs on your eyelid instead

  • Trying to rub or apply pressure on the eye

  • Using ointments or medications on your eye


Types of Eye Emergencies


Chemical Injury


Chemical injuries can be caused by various chemicals getting into the eye. Early medical intervention will mean a better prognosis if you get acid or other chemicals in your eye. Alkaline products can cause permanent damage to your cornea.


If chemicals have gotten in your eye, you should wash your hands with soap and water. Then, tilt your head and flush your eye with plenty of water for 15 minutes. See a doctor as soon as possible.


Small Foreign Objects in the Eye


If a small foreign object made its way into your eye, you should try blinking often. It would be best if you did not rub your eyes. Wash your hands before touching your eye, and have someone help you try to locate the object. You can look behind your eyelids to try and spot the object. If you cannot remove the object, you should see a doctor.


Large Foreign Objects in the Eye

Objects that enter your eye at high speeds can cause significant damage to your vision. If something gets stuck in your eye, do not rub your eye. Also, do not apply pressure to your eye or try to remove it. You should seek immediate medical help. It would be best to try not to move your eye as much as possible.


Cuts and Scratches


If you have sustained cuts or scratches in your eye, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should apply a loose bandage as you wait for the doctor.


For more on common eye emergencies and how to respond, visit TMS Eye Care at our offices in Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas. You can call (316) 669-4760, (316) 686-7212, or (620) 442-2577 to book an appointment today.