What Qualifies as an Eye Emergency?

Any part of our body can become injured during our lifetime, including our eyes. Unfortunately, our eyes are extremely sensitive, and any sort of damage can potentially have very serious consequences for the health of our eyes and even our long-term vision. Sometimes accidents and injuries occur that require immediate medical attention, but how do you know what qualifies as an eye emergency?


Who is at Risk of an Eye Emergency?

Although anyone can be affected by an accident or injury that causes damage to their eyes and vision, there are some jobs, activities, and environments where they are more likely to occur. Some of these include:


  • Automobile repair

  • Carpentry

  • Construction

  • Electrical work

  • Gardening/landscaping

  • Maintenance

  • Manufacturing

  • Medical care

  • Mining

  • Plumbing

  • Welding

  • Woodworking


People who play sports are also more likely to suffer from an eye injury, particularly if they play a sport where either they or an object involved in the sport are moving a speed – such as cycling, soccer, and baseball.


Protective eyewear should be a priority for anyone who can identify with any of the risk factors listed above. If you are exposed to increased risk because of your line of work, you should speak to your HR manager about the use of safety eyewear if it isn’t already provided.


Eye Emergencies You Should Seek Immediate Help for

It’s not always easy to think clearly in an emergency, especially when you are in pain. Your judgment can become clouded, and you may think that you need to see an eye doctor right away when you can treat your eye perfectly well at home, or vice versa. To help you understand when visiting an emergency eye doctor is a priority, here’s a list of some of the most common eye emergencies that you should get immediate help for.


Something Stuck/Lodged in Your Eye


Everyone gets something in their eye from time to time. Usually, it’s a stray eyelash, a bit of dust, or another tiny particle that comes out easily when you give your eye a gentle rub or rinse. However, if you have something bigger in your eye or something that is more stubborn, you may need professional treatment to help. Don’t be tempted to rub your eye or try and pull something lodged in your eye out as this could cause more damage. Instead, cover it with a paper cup or similar vessel to protect it, and visit the emergency eye doctor right away.


Chemical Burns


It’s surprisingly easy to be affected by a chemical burn. It can happen either directly, such as by accidentally spraying perfume or a cleaning chemical into your eyes, or indirectly by getting the chemical onto your hands and then touching your eyes. Unsurprisingly, direct contact is often more severe. If you accidentally get any chemicals into your eyes, you should rinse them with clean, cool water for at least 15 minutes before you do anything else at all. Then contact your emergency eye doctor for advice and support.


Sudden Vision Changes


It’s not uncommon to experience an odd visual disturbance now again, such as a little flash or a few floaters. However, if you notice any significant changes in your vision, it’s important to have them checked out by your eye doctor as soon as you can. This is because some eye conditions cause few other noticeable symptoms but changes to your vision – for example, glaucoma.


Severe Eye Pain


If you experience any sort of severe eye pain that isn’t relieved by taking pain medication, you should make an emergency appointment with your eye doctor. This is because severe eye pain can be a sign of problems like retinal detachment and acute onset glaucoma – both of which can have permanent consequences for your vision.



If you have concerns about your vision and you aren’t sure whether they constitute an eye emergency, contact our knowledgeable team for advice right away. You can call Manchester Eyecare in North Manchester, Indiana at (260) 306-3937 today.

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