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Home » Eye Care Services » Eye Emergencies (Pink/Red Eyes)

Eye Emergencies (Pink/Red Eyes)

Person with Something in Her Eye

Complete Family Eye Care is Prepared for Emergencies

For the most part, your eyes are very vulnerable. This might not be a big deal if we didn’t rely on vision to get us through our day to day lives. But the reality is, most of us need our eyesight, so when an accident happens or disaster strikes, it’s crucial that you get help right away.

Complete Family Eye Care sets time aside specifically for emergency appointments so we can be there for you when you need us. Don’t hesitate. Contact us and let us know you need emergency care.

What Counts as an Emergency?

Something like a stye probably doesn’t need emergency care, but an infection like conjunctivitis might. It’s important to know which symptoms and situations indicate an emergency, so if or when it happens, you know when it’s time to come in.

Symptoms to Watch For

Any time you experience sudden changes in your vision, you should get help right away. Partial or complete vision loss, an influx of floaters or flashes, or distortions in your visions can be signs of serious problems like retinal detachment or angle-closure glaucoma.

Severe eye pain is also an indicator that something is wrong, and should be followed up on as soon as possible. If you see blood in your eye, particularly in front of your iris, do not wait. You need medical care right away.

Situations That Require Medical Care

  • Chemical Contact – Any time a chemical makes contact with your eye, it can put your vision in danger. If it happens, you’ll have to flush your eye with cool, clean water for no less than 15 minutes. Once you’ve thoroughly flushed the eye, seek medical help.
  • Foreign Object in the Eye – If the object is small like a speck of dust or dirt, try to flush it out with clean water. If that doesn’t work, you can take a clean cotton swab and gently touch the object. If the object doesn’t stick to the swab, get help from a medical professional. In the meantime, do not rub your eye.
  • Corneal Abrasions – If something scratches the surface of your eye, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible to makes sure there aren’t any small pieces of anything embedded in the abrasion and help rule out infection. Try not to touch or rub your eye in the meantime.

Trust Your Body

If something doesn’t feel right with your eyes, listen to your instincts and get medical help. No one knows your body better than you do; it’s up to you to make sure it gets medical attention when necessary. Complete Family Eye Care is happy to listen to your concerns and help discover what the problem might be.

Prevent Accidents With Safety Eyewear

Did you know most eye injuries are preventable? We carry excellent protective eyewear solutions for industrial work, sports, and everything between. We can even put your prescription in the frames you choose. Visit us today and ask us about our safety and specialty eyewear options.

Conjunctivitis: What’s Pink Eye & What’s a Problem?

Conjunctivitis and Pink Eye are terms that are thrown around quite regularly. But can you tell the difference between conjunctivitis and different types of eye infections? Even with common medical issues, it’s important to understand them and to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms.

At Complete Family Eye Care, we’re always happy to take the time to answer your questions, address any concerns you might have, and help you get to know your eyes a little better.

Understanding Conjunctivitis

What is the Conjunctiva?

The conjunctiva is a mucus membrane that covers the surface of the eyeball, as well as the interior of the eye. It helps to keep the eye moist, lubricated, and safe from foreign objects.

There are a number of different kinds of conjunctivitis caused by a number of different factors, but the most common are allergic conjunctivitis, viral conjunctivitis, and bacterial conjunctivitis.

What Does Conjunctivitis Mean?

Most of us have a specific experience or set of symptoms we think of when we hear this word. But conjunctivitis actually just refers to an inflammation of the conjunctiva.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Sometimes, your body misinterprets outside stimuli as a threat and sends messages to your body to block the stimuli out. This is called an allergic reaction and it’s exactly what happens with allergic conjunctivitis. Allergens like dust, pollen, or pet dander can cause the eyes to react negatively.

Symptoms

Allergic conjunctivitis produces red, itchy, sometimes swollen eyes. Many patients experience an excess of tears, while others notice a dry, gritty feeling in their eyes. The allergen that causes allergic conjunctivitis may also cause other reactions like hives, sneezing, trouble breathing, or even an itchy mouth.

Treatment

The best way to mitigate an allergic reaction is by figuring out what triggers the reaction and then removing that element from your life. If that’s not possible, antihistamines should help.

If you’re not positive it’s allergic conjunctivitis, come see the doctor. While this strain doesn’t necessarily require medical intervention, others do; so it’s important that you’re properly diagnosed.

Viral Conjunctivitis

Viruses are to blame for some of life’s more unpleasant inevitabilities; like the common cold, cold sores, the stomach flu, and chickenpox. In fact, viral conjunctivitis can be caused by some of the same viruses we just mentioned. When you come into contact with someone who’s sick with some kind of virus, you can actually be infected through your eyes.

If you do catch viral conjunctivitis, it’s best to stay away from busy public spaces to avoid spreading the illness. This strain usually starts in one eye, but often spreads to the other, so it’s important to throw out any makeup you’ve used on the affected eye and wash your bedding regularly to avoid cross-infection.

Symptoms

Sometimes the same virus that causes your conjunctivitis can infect your body, resulting in a sore throat, coughing, achiness, or maybe even vomiting. Whether you experience those symptoms or not, you will notice red, itchy, sometimes painful eyes. Your eyes will water, and will potentially produce a stringy discharge.

Treatment

Unfortunately, it’s usually best for viral conjunctivitis to run its course; your body will fight the virus on its own and your symptoms will eventually go away. Having said that: it’s still important to see a doctor. They may recommend treatments to reduce the severity of your symptoms and improve your overall comfort.

Only a doctor can accurately diagnose the kind of conjunctivitis you’re experiencing, and only your doctor can recommend the best course of treatment.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Your body is covered in good bacteria. But sometimes, bad bacteria is introduced and causes all sorts of nasty problems and infections. That’s what happens with bacterial conjunctivitis; your eye is exposed to bacteria it shouldn’t have been.

This strain of conjunctivitis is incredibly contagious, so you should stay out of public as much as possible and throw out any makeup or cosmetics you’ve used on the affected eye to avoid cross-infection. You should also regularly wash your bedding and anything else that comes into contact with the infected eye (especially washcloths used for warm compresses).

Symptoms

With bacterial conjunctivitis, you can expect extreme irritation and discomfort, swelling, and redness of the eye. You’ll also probably notice a thick, sticky, yellow, white, or greenish discharge coming from the affected eye. This discharge is so sticky and heavy that patients regularly wake up to find their eye is sealed shut. If this happens, just use a warm wet washcloth, gently dabbing and brushing the discharge away until your eye can open again. Be sure to wash the washcloth immediately.

Treatment

Bacterial conjunctivitis requires treatment. See your doctor for a formal diagnosis as soon as possible. If they find you have the bacterial strain of conjunctivitis, they’ll most likely prescribe you antibiotics.

Foreign Bodies

A foreign body is something such as an eyelash, sawdust, sand, or dirt can that gets into the eyes. The main symptom is irritation or pain. Depending on what it is and how the injury happened, the foreign body may pierce the eye and cause serious injury or it may simply go away with no long-term problem.

The foreign object may set off an inflammatory cascade, resulting in dilation of the surrounding vessels and subsequent edema of the lids, conjunctiva, and cornea. If not removed, a foreign body can cause infection.

If anything is stuck in your eye for more than a period of a couple of hours, you must immediately cease all attempts to remove it yourself. Keep in mind that the eyes are an extremely delicate organ and any attempts to try anything extraordinary with them can only have negative and adverse results. If the foreign body you are talking about is not bothering you too much, then you are advised to visit an eye doctor to take care of it. If not you may need to call to emergency service of your region.

How Can An Eye Doctor Help?

If there is a foreign body in your eye, such as a piece of grit, your eye doctor may try and remove it. They will put anesthetic eye drops in your eye first, in order to numb it and prevent any pain.

If the foreign body is easy to get to, it may be possible to remove it by simply rinsing your eye with water, or by wiping it away with a cotton wool bud or triangle of card. However, if this is unsuccessful, your eye doctor may try and remove the foreign body by lifting it out with the tip of a small metal instrument.

The foreign body could be stuck underneath your upper eyelid, especially if you can feel something there, or you have scratches or grazes (abrasions) on the top half of the transparent outer layer of your eye (cornea). If this is the case, it may be necessary to gently turn your eyelid inside out in order to remove the foreign body.

Once the anesthetic eye drops have worn off, your eye may feel a bit uncomfortable until your abrasion heals.

Whatever is happening with your eyes or if you suffer or even suspect that a foreign body has penetrated the outer eye layer better go without delay to the nearest treatment center. Doing nothing can lead to loss of vision, premature cataracts and damage to the retina so do not take any chances, delay is dangerous.