When to Seek Medical Care
In most cases, if you have continuing symptoms of pain, visual disturbance, or bleeding, you should go to the emergency room or find a medical doctor who specializes in eye care.
In general, if you are not sure about your eye emergency or the eye injury isn’t a serious eye injury, call Dr. Wallace for advice.
Calling your Longview, TX eye doctor may be helpful in the following circumstances:
Red, Pink or Sore Eyes?
We 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 routine 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 infections
- removal of foreign bodies from the eye (such as wood or metal)
- 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.
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 damage. We accommodate many eye emergencies such as:
- Eye infections
- Foreign materials stuck in the eyes
- Eye trauma
- Lost or broken contact lenses or eyeglasses
- Flashes of light in the vision
- “Floaters” in the vision
- Red or painful eyes
- Dislodged contact lenses
- Uncomfortable, itchy, or irritated eyes
Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of emergency room visits could have been treated by an 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 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.
Foreign Body Removal
A foreign body is something such as an eyelash, sawdust, sand, or dirt can that gets into the eyes. The main symptom is irritation or 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. Keep in mind that the eyes are an extremely delicate organ and any attempts to try anything extra ordinary with them can only have negative and adverse results. If the foreign body you are talking about is not bothering you too much, then you are advised to visit an eye doctor to take care of it. If not you may need to call to emergency service of your region.
If there is a foreign body in your eye, such as a piece of grit, your eye doctor may try and remove it. They will put anaesthetic eye drops in your eye first, in order to numb it and prevent any pain.
If the foreign body is easy to get to, it may be possible to remove it by simply rinsing your eye with water, or by wiping it away with a cotton wool bud or triangle of card. However, if this is unsuccessful, your eye doctor may try and remove the foreign body by lifting it out with the tip of a small metal instrument.
The foreign body could be stuck underneath your upper eyelid, especially if you can feel something there, or you have scratches or grazes (abrasions) on the top half of the transparent outer layer of your eye (cornea). If this is the case, it may be necessary to gently turn your eyelid inside out in order to remove the foreign body.
Once the anaesthetic eye drops have worn off, your eye may feel a bit uncomfortable until your abrasion heals.
Whatever is happening with your eyes or if you suffer or even suspect that a foreign body has penetrated the outer eye layer better 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.
Chemical exposures: If you are not sure if the exposure is potentially serious, you have washed out your eye, and you have few symptoms, then Dr. Wallace may be able to help you decide whether or not you should be seen immediately.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage: If you are not sure that you have this condition, your eye doctor may be able to help with the diagnosis. This condition does not require immediate medical attention.
Continuing pain and decreased vision after an eye injury can be warning signs that require prompt medical attention. If you have an eye doctor, he or she may be able to take care of you in the office. Otherwise, go to a hospital’s emergency department.
Which Eye Emergencies Should You Go to the ER?
As much as we hope to avoid injuries, there are unfortunate occurrences that warrant an urgent rush to an optometrist for an eye emergency or even the nearest emergency room. Although searching online for “Urgent Care near Longview or Gilmer, TX” can be helpful in eye emergencies like foreign body removals or eye infections, some emergencies are beyond the care of a local eye doctor and are best taken to the ER or calling 911.
Listed below are possible signs that indicate a need to rush to a local ER without any delay as vision loss can develop quickly.
- Loss of Vision – If your vision becomes blurry or you find it hard to focus.
- Bleeding – One of the easiest, visible signs that demand an immediate rush to the ER would be bleeding from the eye, around the eye, or even inside the eye.
- Changes in the eye shape or pupil – Bulging or swelling of the eye, for example.
- Double Vision & Extra Sensitive to light
- Intense Pain, Stinging, or Burning – In a case of a chemical burn on the eye, for example, this eye emergency would warrant a rush to the emergency room.
- Itchiness or discharge from the eye.
- Paralysis – The eye doesn’t move or moves slowly can indicate the seriousness of an eye emergency.
- Severe Headaches can be associated with vision loss after an eye injury.
While any eye injury can lead to vision loss, the more severe the eye injury, the faster and higher risk the vision loss can become.
Speak with your local optometrist like Dr. Wallace about what to do during an eye emergency. Stay educated on which telltale signs describe which type of eye emergency. The awareness will help you secure optimal eye health even in the worst of times.
The following conditions should be seen promptly by Dr. August Wallace in Longview, TX or in the emergency department:
Chemical exposures: If the substance was known to be caustic, immediate medical evaluation by going to the nearest emergency department. Acids and alkalis are the worst and require immediate attention.
If the substance is not dangerous, such as soap or suntan lotion, a visit to the emergency department is not necessary, but a visit to the eye doctor’s office may be helpful to alleviate any remaining symptoms. When in doubt, seek medical attention.
Lacerations: Cuts that affect the eyelid margins (where the eyelashes are) or the eyeball itself need immediate medical attention. Foreign bodies that are not removed with gentle washing should be evaluated by an eye doctor.
Solar retinopathy: Evaluation by an eye doctor is necessary. This is one condition where there is little that can be done in the emergency department.
If you are experiencing an urgent eye emergency, do not contact us by email – contact 911 right away and go to your nearest emergency room without delay.