Are you ready for an ocular emergency? Your eye health -or that of your children- may depend on it!
An ocular emergency can come in many forms, but it’s important to know the major warning signs:
- Sudden loss of vision.
- Sustained blurred or double vision.
- “Seeing stars” for more than a few minutes.
- Loss of control over eye movement.
- Color changes in the “whites” of the eyes to pink, red, or yellow.
- Direct physical damage – tearing, puncture, etc.
- Cysts or lesions around (or under) the eyelid.
- Foreign objects or chemicals in the eye.
What should you do when any of these occur? Here are some important eye health tips!
Protecting Your Sight During An Ocular Emergency
DO: Contact your optometrist.
If there is any question whatsoever in how to proceed, your first call should be to your Phoenix Optometrist for advice. They’ll be able to quickly tell you the right course of action, especially if that action is hospitalization.
DO NOT: Drive yourself.
If you are experiencing any direct loss of vision, even if it’s only intermittent, do not ever drive yourself to a care facility. Use 911 if you have to. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how a loss of vision on the road could turn a minor problem into a major accident.
DO: Read the package.
If the emergency involves chemicals in the eye, the first thing to do is have someone read the package. Virtually any dust or liquid will have instructions on what happens if it comes into contact with the eye. This will tell you, quickly, whether you need a rinse or a ride to the ER.
DO NOT: Use anything besides water or saline.
If something has happened which you believe can be cleared without a doctor’s intervention, like dirt in the eye, never use anything but (preferably distilled) water or saline solutions specifically intended for the eyes. Introducing any other foreign substance will only make things worse.
DO: Keep your head.
Losing vision, even for a short term, is one of the scariest things that can happen to a person. But, above all else, stay calm and don’t panic. When it comes to your eyes, often doing nothing and waiting for expert help is the only course of action that won’t exacerbate the problem.
We’re here to help! If you ever have any eye health questions, please contact the Valley Eyecare Center immediately.