Did you know that there are almost 1 million eye infections yearly in the US?
The eye is a marvelous apparatus with millions of sensitive cells and complex mechanisms underneath. But when severe conditions occur, we find ourselves powerless against them. That’s why emergency conditions with the eye call for immediate treatment.
Sometimes, the emergency is nothing serious, and you’ll get it cured in your local clinic. Other times, it’s so severe you need the right experts to diagnose it to guide you through the journey.
Either way, you need to know what you’re dealing with.
So here are some eye emergencies and what you can do about them.
It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin layer of tissue that covers the inside of the eyelid and the white of the eye. It can cause redness, swelling, and a gritty or scratchy feeling in the eye.
Common conjunctivitis causes include viral and bacterial infections, allergies, and chemicals. In most cases, the condition will resolve independently without any medical intervention.
However, if the infection persists and causes pain or increased symptoms, it is essential to seek treatment from an emergency eye care professional. Treatment options may include topical ointments, antiviral medications, warm compresses, and antibiotics.
2. Retinal Detachment
It is a dangerous, sight-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. It occurs when the retina, the light-sensitive layer of cells in the back of the eye, becomes separated from the rest of the eye.
Symptoms to look out for include seeing flashes of light in the peripheral vision, seeing rings or cobwebs in the picture, or feeling like a curtain descending in front of the image.
Treatment includes lasers and surgery to reattach the retina and may require hospitalization for the eye to heal correctly.
3. Foreign Bodies in the Eye
Symptoms of a foreign body in the eye can include redness, pain, tearing, and blurred vision. If a foreign body is suspected, the patient should not attempt to remove the object themselves, as this can cause further damage.
Instead, the patient should seek medical attention as soon as possible to remove the object safely. During the visit, the doctor will likely use bright lights and special tools to locate the foreign body and then carefully extract it.
Additionally, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and eye drops to reduce inflammation and redness.
4. Corneal Abrasions
It is one of the eye emergencies where the front surface of the eye – the cornea – is scratched or abraded. Symptoms include intense pain, redness, increased tear production, and blurred vision.
If you believe you are experiencing a corneal abrasion, you should immediately go to an eye doctor or emergency room. You should not attempt to treat it yourself.
Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and eye drops from aiding healing. Your doctor may also recommend a pain reliever to ease any discomfort.
If the corneal abrasion does not heal, you may need a procedure to repair the damage. If you have eye emergency treatments and need assistance, contact your eye care provider immediately or go to your local emergency room.
Learning the Different Eye Emergencies
Eye emergencies can happen at any time and often require immediate medical attention.
By taking preventative actions and being aware of possible eye emergencies, you can help to ensure your eye health remains intact. So don’t wait – take care of your eyes today!
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