Emergency Eye Care

At Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center, we are fully equipped to provide emergency eye care services on short notice for patients in our clinic. Our staff is also on-call for emergency eye care after hours at St. Marys and Riverside Hospitals.

What symptoms require emergency eye care?

An eye emergency is any event where your eyesight is at risk. These events require prompt treatment in order to prevent vision loss.

You should seek prompt emergency eye care if you have experienced any of the following:

  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Eyelid laceration
  • Sudden vision loss
  • Sudden double vision
  • Sudden red/painful eye
  • Sudden glare/halos around lights
  • Ocular discharge
  • Sudden droopy lid
  • Pink eye
  • Blurred vision
  • New or worsening swelling or pain after eye surgery
  • New onset flashes and/or floaters
  • Severe eye allergies
  • A foreign body resting on the cornea (the clear surface of the eye) or embedded objects in any part of the eye

What can cause the sudden onset of symptoms that require emergency eye care?

Some of these symptoms may be caused by a retinal detachment, acute angle-closure glaucoma, central retinal artery occlusion, or an eye injury from a high-velocity trauma (e.g., a flying object, motor vehicle collision). Of course, you may not know that you have some of these issues going on, but if you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate emergency eye care, especially if these symptoms come on suddenly.

In the case of acute angle-closure glaucoma, you may also experience frontal headaches, colored halos around lights, and nausea and vomiting, Prompt treatment is required to prevent further damage to your optic nerve.

What are the risk factors for emergency eye problems?

Aside from age, there are certain risk factors which make you more prone to experiencing eye conditions that require emergency treatment including:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Migraine

What happens if these emergent eye conditions are left untreated?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms associated with emergency eye problems, you need to seek immediate emergency eye care because if left untreated irreversible damage to your vision may occur.

While you wait for medical assistance, DO NOT

  • Press on the injured eye or rub the eye(s).
  • Attempt to remove a foreign body or embedded object from any part of the eye.
  • Use dry cotton (or cotton swabs) or sharp instruments (such as tweezers)  on the eye.

What kind of treatment can you expect for emergent eye care?

For any emergent eye issue, your eye doctor will conduct a comprehensive eye exam. Treatment recommendations usually depend on the type of problem you are experiencing. For example, if you have high intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma, your eye doctor will focus on lowering eye pressure and may recommend laser iridotomy. If you have a chemical injury to your eye, topical anesthetics help to relieve pain and thus facilitate eye irrigation with normal saline for 30 minutes or longer to reach a neutral pH reading.

Don’t ever delay treatment, as doing nothing can lead to loss of vision, premature cataracts, and damage to the retina.

Emergency Eye Care at FSN Eye Center

If you have any sudden changes or injuries to your eyesight, please contact FSN Eye Center at (815) 932-2020 for emergency eye care.