Any part of our bodies can be injured at any time, including our eyes. Unfortunately, since our eyes are so delicate, injuries to them can have very serious consequences for their health and for our vision. In fact, some eye injuries can permanently alter our eyesight, leading to irreversible vision loss.
There are many ways in which our eyes can become injured, but some types of eye emergencies are more common than others. Here are some of the most common eye emergencies that our team deals with each year.
Chemical burns are easily one of the most frequent injuries that we see and occur when someone accidentally gets a substance containing chemicals in their eyes. This could be direct, such as by accidentally spraying perfume into our eyes by having the nozzle facing the wrong way. Conversely, you could have touched a product containing chemicals and then directly touched your eyes before washing your hands, transferring the chemical onto them. The more chemical that gets onto your eyes, the more severe the effects are likely to be.
Before you do anything at all, you should rinse your affected eye under cool, clean running water for at least 15 minutes. This will help to wash out as much of the chemical as possible and limit the damage it could cause. You should then speak to your eye doctor.
You’ve probably already had an eyelash, piece of dust, or dirt in your eye before and managed to rinse it out. However, it’s possible to also get something lodged in your eye that isn’t so easy to remove. This could be something as small as a piece of grit or some grains of sand, to something much larger. In some cases, you could even find that something penetrates your eyeball, like a shard of glass or splinter of wood. If you get something in your eye that you can’t immediately flush out, you need to speak to your eye doctor right away. Don’t be tempted to rub your eye as this could make the damage worse. Instead, cover it with an eye shield, paper cup, or similar and get to your eye doctor or ER immediately.
It’s not uncommon for eyes to feel sore and painful from time to time, especially if you suffer from eye allergies. However, any sudden and severe eye or head pain can be an indication of an eye emergency. For example, acute glaucoma is characterized by a sudden increase in intraocular pressure. Not only can this pressure cause damage to the optic nerve, but it can also result in severe eye pain. If you start to experience unexplained pain affecting your eyes or the area around them, speak to your emergency eye doctor.
Any sudden visual changes could indicate that you are experiencing an eye problem, even if there is nothing noticeable when you look in the mirror. If you suddenly start to have visual disturbances like persistent flashes or floaters, loss of vision, or vision that comes and goes, it’s essential that you contact your emergency eye doctor right away.
For more advice on common types of eye emergencies, or to schedule an appointment with our experienced eyecare specialists, contact Marshall EyeCare in Aberdeen, New Jersey at (732) 837-0988 today.