An eye emergency constitutes an event that puts your eyesight at risk. Any such event requires immediate professional treatment to prevent permanent vision loss. Examples of eye emergencies include:
Loss of Vision: If you experience any form of vision loss, even if you are not experiencing pain, contact your eye doctor immediately. In fact, loss of vision is one of the most significant indicators of an eye emergency. Lack of pain in no way diminishes the seriousness of the situation.
Torn or Cut Eyelid: If you experience a cut or torn eyelid, apply gentle pressure with a clean, dry cloth until the bleeding subsides. Then rinse the area with water, cover with a clean bandage, apply a cold compress over the bandage to reduce pain and swelling, and seek medical help immediately.
Scratched Eye: If any direct damage occurs to your eyeball, DO NOT apply any pressure to stop the bleeding. Gently place a cold compress over the affected eye to reduce swelling and help control any bleeding and seek medical help immediately.
Protruding Eye: Any bulging of a single eye, especially in children, is a very serious sign and requires immediate professional attention. Contact your eye doctor immediately.
Foreign Object Under the Eyelid: First of all, DO NOT rub your eye if something becomes stuck under your eyelid. Try to wash it out with water. If that does not work, contact your eye doctor immediately.
Chemicals in the Eye: If any chemicals come into contact with your eye, immediately flush the eye with cool tap water. Turn your head to the side, with the affected eye facing down. Hold the eyelid open and allow the water to run over the eye. Do this for 15 minutes. After flushing the eye, seek immediate medical attention.
Foreign Object Embedded in the Eye: First and foremost, as hard as it may be to resist, DO NOT try to remove the object or apply pressure to the eye. Leave the object in place and bandage the eye. Then cover the healthy eye with a clean cloth or gauze and seek immediate medical attention.
There is a general theme when it comes to eye emergencies; if you experience an eye emergency, seek immediate medical attention and contact your eye doctor – ophthalmologist or optometrist – right away. If you are unable to reach your eye care physician, have a family member or friend drive you to the nearest emergency room. And remember the following advise.
•DO NOT rub your eye.
•DO NOT attempt to remove a foreign object that is in contact with the cornea or that is embedded in the eye.
•DO NOT use dry cotton or sharp objects on the eye.
•DO NOT contaminate a burn. Avoid breathing on the affected area.
If you have any questions about what you have just read or if you would like to learn more about AAEC’s Emergency Eye Care Services, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Samuel Boles and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
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