Emergency Eye Care
At Southern Eye Centers in Baton Rouge, LA, and Plaquemine, LA, we provide emergency eye care services to help preserve your eyesight and relieve any discomfort.
Eye emergencies are situations that require prompt medical attention to prevent permanent damage to the eye or vision loss. Although some ocular emergencies require visiting the emergency room, there are many cases where an optometrist is better prepared to handle the situation, including eye infections and foreign objects in the eye.
Some common eye emergencies include:
- Chemical exposure: If a chemical comes into contact with the eye, it can cause severe damage and potentially lead to blindness. Immediate medical attention is necessary to flush the eye and minimize damage.
- Eye infections: If left untreated, eye infections like conjunctivitis, keratitis, and endophthalmitis can cause permanent damage to the eye and vision loss.
- Sudden vision loss: Sudden vision loss can be a sign of a serious eye condition like retinal detachment or macular degeneration, which requires immediate medical attention.
- Acute glaucoma: Acute glaucoma is a medical emergency that occurs when there is a sudden increase in eye pressure, causing severe eye pain, blurred vision, and other symptoms. Immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent permanent vision loss.
- Foreign objects in the eye: If a foreign object becomes lodged in the eye, it can cause pain, redness, and potentially serious damage to the eye. Immediate medical attention is necessary to remove the object and prevent further damage.
When should you get urgent eye care?
If something gets stuck in your eye, such as metal or wood shavings, we can safely remove the object while minimizing damage to your eye. Our office also treats eye infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye).
The following symptoms require immediate medical attention:
- Burning or stinging eyes
- One eye isn’t moving like the other eye
- Decreased vision or double vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Blood on the white part of the eye
- Eye discharge
- Severe itching sensation in the eye
- New or severe headaches
Contact us immediately if you notice an increase in eye floaters, see flashes of light, or notice a dark curtain on the side of your vision, as these are all symptoms of retinal detachment.
Steps to take during an eye emergency
When dealing with an eye emergency, follow these steps to avoid making it worse:
- If chemicals get into your eyes, flush your eyes with water for 10-15 minutes and don’t cover the affected eye.
- If you have something in your eyes, avoid rubbing them to prevent further damage and reduce the spread of any germs, bacteria, or infections.
- To prevent swelling around your eye after an injury, apply a cold compress. Gently apply the compress to your eyes to avoid irritation.
- Avoid driving if you are experiencing an eye emergency or vision problems.
After seeing an eye doctor for emergency eye care, make sure to follow the treatment plan closely and use any home remedies they suggest, such as eye drops or compresses. Treatment for eye emergencies will vary depending on the specific case, but most issues resolve quickly when properly treated by a qualified optometrist.
Eye emergencies require quick treatment to avoid the risk of permanent damage or vision loss. If you are currently experiencing an eye emergency, please call us immediately for an emergency eye examination.