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

Eye Emergencies (Pink/Red Eyes)

Red, Pink or Sore Eyes?

Red eyeWe are ready to look after ALL of your eye care needs in one location.  In addition to the services you already rely on us for such as eye exams, contact lenses, designer frames and eyeglasses – think of your optometrist first for:

  • sore, red, or itchy eyes
  • treatment of "pink eye" and other bacterial or viral infections
  • removal of foreign bodies (such as wood or metal) from the eye and treatment of eye allergies or burns
  • emergency eye care

This is convenient and cost effective for your whole family and you can be sure you are receiving the attention of an eye care specialist.

Eye Emergencies

We are always willing to help, should you ever experience an eye emergency.  Our office provides emergency services for eye infections, eye injuries and other eye urgencies.  State-of-the art equipment allows us to examine the front surface of the eye and also digitally scan inside the eye for infection or damageWe accommodate many eye emergencies such as: 

  • Eye infections
  • Foreign materials stuck in the eyes
  • Eye trauma
  • Scratched eyes
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Lost or broken contact lenses or eyeglasses
  • Flashes of light in the vision
  • "Floaters" or "spots" in the vision
  • Red or painful eyes
  • Dislodged or stuck contact lens
  • Uncomfortable, itchy or irritated eyes

Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of emergency room visits involving the eye could have been treated by the optometrist.  These ranged from foreign bodies to severe eye allergies to eye infections as the most common reasons for emergency room visits.  It is not always necessary to go to an emergency room for eye emergencies. Optometrists are equipped and trained to treat the majority of eye emergencies.

We understand the importance of eye care when you encounter symptoms such as those listed above. These are signs that an immediate evaluation or consultation is necessary – please call us to set one up if you are experiencing an eye emergency of any kind.  In some cases delay of treatment may cause loss of vision.  Do not take chances with your vision!

Foreign Body Removal

A foreign body is something such as an eyelash, contact lens, sawdust, rust, metal, glass, plastic, sand or dirt – anything that gets into the eyes.  It may be under the lid, stuck on the white part of the eye or stuck onto the cornea.  The main symptoms are irritation and 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 and seek professional care.  Keep in mind that any attempts to remove a foreign object yourself can result in a more serious problem.  So, you must visit an eye doctor to take care of it.  If after-hours or your eye care professional is not available, you may need to visit the ER or urgent care center.

If there is a foreign body in your eye, your eye doctor will try to remove it.  They will put an aesthetic eye drops in your eye first in order to numb it and temporarily stop the pain.

If the foreign body is easy to get to, it may be possible for the doctor to remove it by simply rinsing your eye with saline (irrigation), or by wiping it away with a Q-Tip. However, if this is unsuccessful, your eye doctor will remove the foreign body by lifting it out with the tip of a small metal instrument.  Some metallic foreign bodies need additional treatment to remove rust. 

If the foreign body is stuck underneath your upper eyelid it will may be necessary to gently turn your eyelid inside out in order to remove the foreign body.  This is called lid eversion.

Once the anesthetic eye drops have worn off, your eye may feel a bit uncomfortable until any abrasion heals.  This usually takes only 24-48 hours and frequently lubricant eye drops are used during this period.  Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotic drops to prevent an infection.

If you suspect or know that a foreign body has actually penetrated the eyeball, you must 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!