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What to Do in Case of an Eye Emergency?

An eye injury should not be taken lightly! Certain injuries can cause the pressure of your eye to increase or cause slow bleeding and, in some cases, like with retinal detachment, it may cause permanent vision problems if not treated quickly. It is essential that, no matter the type of injury, even if it seems like a minor one, you should consult with a doctor. Did you know that if you have an eye emergency, your local IRIS optometrist may be able to help? This is, of course, depending on the seriousness of the injury. 

In order to determine whether you should visit your optometrist or the nearest hospital, here are some tips to keep in mind should you ever need immediate eye care. 

Flashes, Floaters and Tiny Specks
If you suddenly see flashes, floaters or tiny specks, see a doctor immediately. These are abnormal symptoms to eye problems such as retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is when the back of the eye, the retina, detaches from the layer of blood vessels that provide the eye with oxygen. Left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss. 

Blunt Force Trauma
Getting hit in the eye with a ball, fist or your toddler’s plastic toy, may not seem like a reason necessary to visit a doctor, but it can cause blunt force trauma to the eye. This type of injury is fairly common. If you accidentally get hit in the eye it can cause some serious vision problems. Should this ever happen to you, call your local IRIS store and explain your injury. They will either provide you with an appointment or assist you in the next steps to take to ensure that your eye is properly looked after.

Scratched Cornea
A scratched cornea can be very uncomfortable and may cause severe sensitivity to light. If you were poked in the eye or if you rubbed it with the presence of a foreign object, your cornea may be scratched. Like any open wounds, bacteria or fungus can make your eye susceptible to infections. Do not cover or rub your eye, try keeping it closed and consult immediately with an optometrist but if that is not possible, go to the hospital emergency room. 

Foreign Objects
It is important to note that you should never rub your eye if a foreign object enters it! If dirt or sand enters your eye, flush it out with water for 10 to 20 minutes. If you feel discomfort after the object has been flushed out make an appointment with your optometrist. If the object is made of metal or wood, consult with your local IRIS optometrist but, if it is outside store hours, visit your nearest hospital. Should the object penetrate the eye, go to the ER immediately. 

Chemicals in the Eye
So, you are cleaning your shower with your trusty mildew cleaner and you accidentally splash the chemicals in your eye… What do you do? First, it is important that before using the product, you read the directions and information on the label. Products with harsh chemicals will indicate a first aid treatment should it enter your eyes. Follow those instructions, then call your eye doctor or your urgent care center to see what your next steps should be.

An accident can happen very quickly therefore, it is important to be informed and to have a plan should you need assistance. Speak to your IRIS eye care professional to find out if they have an emergency contact and to get advice on any issues relating to your eyes. 

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