By definition, an eye emergency is any incident which has put your eyesight at risk. If you have experienced anything (trauma, burn, foreign body) which has you unable to see properly, you should call us to arrange an emergency appointment. The sooner you are in our care, the more we can do to protect your eye health and vision.
Any chemical liquid which contacts your eye could burn and potentially cause lasting damage to your eyesight. As soon as physically possible after the accident, turn on a lukewarm tap (jump fully-clothed into the shower if required) and run the water over the damaged eye(s) for 15 minutes.
Do this now, before anything else, as it could wash away the damaging fluid and prevent lasting harm.
Accidents happen. Sometimes through sheer rotten luck, anyone can fall victim to painful sprains and breaks, however if an accident threatens your vision, it’s important to recognise the problem and respond proactively.
You know the phrase “seeing stars”, and how people talk about that after a head injury? Those stars are actually flashes, and are bright little bursts of light which could indicate a serious underlying condition like retinal detachment. This can lead to complete vision loss, so while it may not be likely, any experience of flashes – or unexpected floating black lines or dots in your vision – should prompt an immediate visit to Woodstock Optical.
Acid burns can be quite nasty, but if thoroughly rinsed and then immediately treated, they usually heal well and leave only superficial damage to the eye. Burns from alkali however can be extremely serious. The chemical can seep through ocular surface and penetrate your eye, potentially causing total and permanent blindness. Any and all burns should be rinsed (for 15 minutes under a tap) and given emergency care.
The best thing you can do if any object is embedded or somehow trapped in your eye is to cover it up (try using a plastic cup) and going immediately to our practice, or the emergency department at the nearest hospital, if we’re unavailable.
A serious smack to the head, such as a sporting injury, can be very unsettling for your vision. If you experience any bad head injury – especially if you lose consciousness – you should schedule an immediate appointment. Even if you feel okay, trauma is rarely as superficial as it seems, and your vision may be at risk.
If you experience any loss of sight, you must visit an eyecare specialist immediately. If we are not available, we will try to recommend another practice who can take you; vision loss is often irreversible and must take priority over everything else you have going on.
There are lots of simple ways to protect our vision, but the easiest one is to always wear personal protective equipment (safety glasses/goggles) when handling chemicals, operating machinery or performing any similar work. The rules exist for a reason, and there’s no excuse for not wearing goggles because you think “nothing is going to go wrong”. Freak accidents will always happen; stay ahead of the curve and always protect your eyes.