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Should I Go To the ER For an Eye Emergency?

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Eye emergencies can be alarming, especially if you aren’t sure where to go or what to do when they occur.

At Olive Branch Optometry, we’re here to take the guesswork out of navigating eye emergencies.

What’s Considered an Eye Emergency?

A wide range of conditions fall under the category of an eye emergency, but what they all have in common is that they pose a risk to your vision and eye health.

Common types of eye emergencies include:

  • Eye Infection
  • Foreign object stuck in eye
  • Eye trauma/injury
  • Scratched cornea (surface of the eye)
  • Sudden onset and increase in visual floaters or flashes
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Moderate to severe eye pain
  • Eyes that don’t move in sync
  • Different sized pupils
  • Bleeding or discharge coming from the eye
  • One bulging eye
  • Burning, stinging or itchy eyes
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Chemical or heat burns

What To Do In Case of an Eye Emergency

Try to stay calm and contact Olive Branch Optometry in Raleigh without delay.
Although your first instinct may be to rush to an emergency room or urgent care center, a trip to your eye doctor can be more efficient.

That’s because urgent care facilities are often overcrowded, understaffed, or simply aren’t as experienced in the field of eye emergencies. You may be more comfortable in an eye doctor’s office, where you won’t have to wait as long to be treated.

Here’s some science to backup that point.

A 2018 study published in Ophthalmology found that 25% of eye-related conditions treated in the emergency department were diagnosed with non-urgent conditions that could have been easily treated in an optometrist’s office.

That study also noted that people who have an established relationship with a local optometrist were 10% less likely to visit the emergency room for eye-related matters.

Of course, you’ll want to use your best judgment and seek emergency medical care in cases of severe eye injuries or infections, especially those that may require surgery or hospitalization. If you aren’t sure, call Olive Branch Optometry and we’ll help guide you.

We Can Treat Your Eye Emergencies

At Olive Branch Optometry in Raleigh, we offer a wide range of eye care services, including emergency eye care.

Our facility is equipped to handle all sorts of eye emergencies for your convenience and comfort.

Contact us today to learn more about our services, and ask about our emergency eye care hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can bleach in the eye cause blindness?

  • A:Chlorine is a main ingredient in many household cleaners and bleaches, and can seriously damage your eye tissue if it gets in your eye. In severe cases, chlorine or bleach in the eye can cause blindness. If you get bleach or other household chemicals in your eye, immediately remove your contact lenses if you’re wearing some, and begin to irrigate your eyes with clean tap water. Then, contact your eye doctor for further instructions.

Q: What should you not do in an eye emergency?

  • A: Resist the urge to rub, press or touch your eyes, as this can cause more damage. If something is lodged or embedded in your eye, or it feels like something is stuck in your eye, don’t use an object (like a cotton swab or tweezers) to try and remove it. Only an eye care professional should remove a foreign body from your eye.

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