Responding to Emergencies
Eye emergencies can happen at any time and put your sight at risk. Fortunately, many common eye emergencies can be prevented by practicing eye safety and wearing eye protection. Whether you encounter a household accident or a workplace incident, knowing what to do can help you protect and preserve your sight.
When you experience eye-related symptoms or trauma, contact us for an emergency eye care appointment. Head to the nearest emergency room if you have life-threatening injuries or severe bleeding. Please call us if you’re unsure of what type of care you need. We can help you determine the appropriate steps.
The sooner your eyes are assessed and treated, the better the chance of preventing permanent damage. At Santa Cruz Optometric Center, we prioritize your eye health. Contact us today.
Common Eye Emergencies
There are 4 main types of common eye emergencies: chemical exposure, foreign objects in the eye, trauma, and sudden vision loss. Contacting your optometrist or visiting an emergency room as soon as possible is crucial for assessing harm and receiving appropriate treatment.
Chemical eye injuries can involve household solutions or workplace materials, from cleaning products to gardening chemicals. Even aerosols and perfumes can cause chemical burns to sensitive eye tissue. Flush your eyes immediately with clean water for at least 15 minutes after chemical exposure. Then, contact us to assess harm and prescribe treatment.
A foreign object is anything that enters the body, from dirt particles to a stray eyelash. Small foreign objects are generally easily removed by blinking or flushing the eye. However, you should never rub the eye or use tools (such as tweezers) to remove the object.
Large foreign objects stuck in the eye can cause severe damage. Do not attempt to remove the object. Call 911 immediately. Move your eye as little as possible and gently cover your eye with a clean cloth.
Injury or Trauma
Injury or trauma to other body parts, such as the head, neck, or face, can result in eye complications. For example, when tissue or bone surrounding the eye is damaged (such as a black eye), it can severely affect eye tissue. The trauma can result in increased eye pressure or retinal detachment.
Visiting your optometrist for an eye exam is crucial for determining any harm to internal eye structures.
Sudden Vision Loss
A sudden change or loss of vision can be scary, and it should be assessed immediately. There are various causes of sudden vision loss, including:
- Angle-closure glaucoma
- Retinal detachment
- Severe eye infections
- Wet macular degeneration
Your optometrist can assess your vision to determine the cause. Then, when necessary, your optometrist can refer you to a specialist to receive appropriate treatment. Visiting a medical professional after experiencing sudden vision changes is essential for protecting your sight and health.
Preventing Eye Emergencies
Prevention is the best way to protect your eyesight. Follow recommended safety protocols whenever you’re engaging in an activity or hobby. Wear appropriate eye protection, such as safety goggles, face guards, or eye protectors. Protective eyewear can prevent 90% of serious eye injuries.
Jobs, household chores, or hobbies involving chemicals require extra care. While wearing eye protection helps, it’s also good to know how to respond when accidents happen. Be aware of eyewash stations and read product labels before handling.
Promoting eye protection can help you and your family enjoy activities safely, whether you’re a spectator in the stands or playing the game. Talk to your optometrist to learn more eye safety tips!
Come See What We’re About
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed