Keep an eye out: Potentially harmful substances are everywhere. From a long fingernail to a common household cleaner, many things can irritate and damage the health of your eyes.
Getting an eyelash in your eye can be uncomfortable, but it’s usually not a cause for concern. On the other hand, serious injuries and chemical burns can permanently damage your vision. But it’s not always easy to recognize when your eye injury needs immediate medical care.
In general, foreign objects in your eye, eye pain or bleeding, and sudden vision changes are all signs that your injury could be serious. And when it comes to protecting your vision and your eye health, acting quickly is important.
At Pacific Eye, we offer comprehensive emergency eye care for people of all ages. Turn to our experienced team if you’re experiencing eye pain, sudden vision changes, or you’ve suffered an injury affecting your eyes.
Today, we’re sharing some of the most common signs that you need emergency eye care. Take a moment to learn more about being prepared and getting the care you need in the event of an eye emergency.
Acute injury affecting your eye
An eye injury can happen at any time. A corneal abrasion is one of the most common eye injuries, and it occurs when something scratches the surface of your eye. Mild abrasions often heal on their own, but anything more serious generally requires professional care.
Eye injuries that often require emergency care include:
- Puncture wounds
- A visible object protruding from the eye
- Traumatic injury
- Chemical burns
- Bleeding from the eyes
- Blood in the whites of the eyes
Taking steps to protect your eyes from foreign objects, chemicals, and substances can help prevent eye injuries, but accidents happen. Learning when your eye injury needs emergency care could save your vision.
Eye pain without obvious injury
Not all eye injuries involve foreign objects or visible damage to your eye. Pay attention to eye pain, even without physical signs of injury. When you’re suffering pain in or around your eye, it could be a sign that you should seek emergency care.
Types of pain that may necessitate emergency eye care can include:
- Pain in the eye
- Pressure behind or around the eye
- Worsening pain with eye movement
In some cases, the injury can go beyond the eye itself. Bruising and swelling around your eye from a blow to the face could indicate eye damage, so it’s a good idea to get your eye examined.
Sudden changes in vision
Blurry vision generally develops so slowly that you might not notice it. And certain eye diseases, like diabetic retinopathy, can cause vision loss over time. Getting regular comprehensive eye exams is the best way to detect these conditions early and give you the best possible vision throughout your life.
But sudden changes in vision are often a sign that you need immediate emergency eye care. Some eye injuries don’t cause serious pain, but if they bring vision changes, there’s a chance your vision could suffer permanently.
Sudden vision changes that indicate you should seek emergency eye care include:
- Double vision
- Vision loss
- Flashes of light
- Sudden appearance of floaters
One of the most serious types of eye injury that causes sudden vision loss is retinal detachment. When your retina separates from supporting tissue, it can cause permanent blindness if you don’t get immediate medical care.