Most Common Eye Emergencies - First Eye Care North Arlington

Most Common Eye Emergencies

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Seek Medical Attention Following Any Eye Emergency

Your eye is an incredibly complex part of your body. While it may not seem like your eye has much going on, it has several parts that are crucial to how your vision works. If even one of these areas is damaged or hurt, your vision and eye health can be greatly impacted. Eye emergencies are often to blame for many issues your eyes may face.

Your eyes are extremely sensitive. They are very soft and fragile and can be easily affected by even the smallest of irritants. Eye emergencies can happen when a foreign object, chemicals or other irritants enter your eye or when you suffer an injury to your eye.

While these incidents may seem minor to many, they can be devastating, leading to partial vision loss or even permanent blindness. First Eye Care North Arlington is here to ensure you know what to do in the wake of an eye emergency. We offer our patients emergency services for a host of eye emergencies.


Eye emergencies are far more common than many people realize. They can happen during sports, at work, at school, or even in the comfort of your home. Because they are so common and can happen anywhere, you must know their signs and symptoms in order to take the necessary steps to treat them.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Vision Loss
  • Burning
  • Uneven pupil size
  • Eye pain
  • Bulging eye
  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Itchiness
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Black eyes 

If you experience any combination of these symptoms, contact an emergency eye clinic immediately. It may be the difference between saving your eye or losing your vision.

Common Emergencies

Eye emergencies are fairly common, and many conditions can lead to a trip to the emergency room. Each emergency brings with it its own share of issues and complications that all threaten your vision and eye health. First Eye Care North Arlington is here to inform you about the most common eye emergencies that we treat.

Acute Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a fairly known eye condition that often plagues the elderly. However, a relatively uncommon eye condition known as acute glaucoma often leads to many eye emergencies. It is often characterized by blurred vision, eye pain, redness, headaches, nausea, and more.

Acute glaucoma is caused by a blockage in the drainage angles of the eye by the iris. Because fluid can no longer reach these channels, the pressure in your eye raises quickly. Your symptoms will become severe if treatment is not received quickly, even leading to vision loss and blindness.

Retinal Detachment 

Retinal detachment can be very serious if it is not taken care of immediately. This condition occurs when the retina at the back of the eye detaches from its original position. This detachment separates the retinal cells from the blood vessels responsible for delivering oxygen and nourishment to this part of the eye.

The longer this condition goes untreated, the higher the risk of permanently losing your vision becomes. If you experience a sudden appearance of floaters, or your vision reduces, you should contact an eye care specialist immediately.

Retinal Artery Occlusion

This condition is fairly common in those with high blood pressure or other heart conditions. Retinal artery occlusion occurs when one of the arteries in the retina becomes blocked. A clot, occlusion, or cholesterol build-up often leads to this blockage. If you do experience this condition, you may lose vision in one of your eyes but often won’t experience pain. This is similar to how a stroke occurs.

If you experience sudden painless vision loss, contact an eye care specialist as soon as possible.


Most people are very much aware of conjunctivitis, commonly referred to as pink eye. Conjunctivitis happens when the conjunctiva, the tissue on the inside of your eyelid, becomes inflamed and swells. While it may seem minor, this tissue is crucial to the overall health of your eye as it keeps your eyelid and eyes moist.

There are several different reasons why you may have contracted conjunctivitis. However, pink eye is fairly easy to treat if you seek medical attention quickly.

Chemical Injuries 

Chemical injuries can be extremely dangerous to the health of your eye. Most often, chemical burns are the outcome of getting chemicals in your eyes and can affect the health of your eye as well as your vision. Cleaning products, gardening chemicals, and industrial chemicals can all get into your eye and cause damage.

Early treatment helps prevent any permanent damage from occurring. If you get chemicals in your eyes, you should:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water to clean them of any chemicals
  • Tilt your head to keep the injured eye down
  • Keep your eyelid open while you flush it with water for 15 minutes
  • Go to the emergency room as soon as possible
  • If your contacts are removed after rinsing, try to remove them

Foreign Objects 

There are many situations where a foreign object can make its way into your eye. Even small sand particles can cause damage. If you get a small object in your eye, try blinking frequently to clear it away. If that doesn’t work, use artificial tear drops to wash it away. You can also flush it with water to try to remove it. Contact your eye doctor if none of these tactics are helpful.

While small foreign objects can cause damage, they don’t threaten the health of your eyes like large objects that get stuck in them. Glass, metal, and more can find their way into your eye, often entering at high speeds. Under no circumstances should you try to remove it on your own. Do not apply pressure on it, as well. Make your way to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Preventing an Eye Injury 

As we have mentioned, eye emergencies can happen at any time and anywhere. They can often happen within an instance. To help prevent these from occurring, you should take the necessary steps to ensure you protect your eyes from any kind of damage.

You should:

  • Wear protective eyewear whenever you are working with power tools, preventing shrapnel from hitting your eye
  • Carefully follow directions when handling cleaning supplies and other chemicals. Wear protective eyewear as an extra precaution
  • Wear protective eyewear when playing sports
  • Keep a safe distance when cooking with grease and oil
  • Do not allow children to handle sharp objects like knives and scissors
  • Avoid allowing your child to play with projectile toys

Eye emergencies happen more often than you may think. While some of them may seem minor, they can pose a great threat to the health of your eyes and your vision. If you experience any of the above symptoms or conditions, contact an eye care specialist right away. First Eye Care North Arlington is here to help you if you have experienced an eye emergency.

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