What To Do During an Eye Emergency

Lethbridge Eye Emergencies

When an eye injury occurs, it is extremely important to have a qualified eye doctor examine it, even if the injury seems minor at first. Delaying any medical attention can cause the damaged areas to worsen and could result in permanent vision loss.

At our Lethbridge eye clinic, our eye doctors are highly trained in the medical management of eye emergencies.

However, there may be times where you must be able to recognize an eye injury and appropriately respond to it.

This guide will help you determine your next step following an accident and what you should do until you can receive proper medical care.

How to Recognize an Eye Injury

If you notice any of the following signs in yourself or someone else, it is important to seek medical help from an eye doctor immediately.

  • Sudden vision loss
  • Eye pain
  • Double vision/Difficulty Seeing
  • One eye has an unusual pupil size or shape
  • There is blood in the sclera (clear part of the eye)
  • There is an object lodged in the eye or under the eyelid
  • Dislodged contact lenses
  • New or severe headaches

The Most Common Eye Injuries & How To Handle Them

  1. Eye Trauma

Eye trauma can include swelling of the eye and eyelid, resulting from being struck in the eye by an object. You may simply have some bruising around the eye but it is always important to visit an eye doctor to ensure there is no internal damage.

What to do

Gently apply a small, cold compress to the injured area. This will reduce any pain or swelling.

  1. Foreign Object in the Eye

A foreign object in the eye can be anything from a dust particle to a metal shard and the course of treatment depends on what the object is and the degree of contact it has made with the eye.

For larger foreign bodies, or those that have penetrated the eye, contact our eye clinic immediatley.

What to do

A foreign object in the eye can be anything from a dust particle to a metal shard and the course of treatment depends on what the object is and the degree of contact it has made with the eye.

For larger foreign bodies, or those that have penetrated the eye, contact our eye clinic immediatley.

  1. Scratched Eye

A corneal abrasion (or scratched eye) is one of the most common eye injuries. It often causes significant discomfort, red eyes, sensitivity to light and can increase your risk of an eye infection.

That’s why it’s important to visit your eye doctor if you suspect you have a scratched eye.

What to do

Simply keep your eye closed and visit an eye clinic as soon as possible.

DO NOT rub your eye or cover it with an eye patch of any kind. A dark, warm place could provide the ideal environment for bacteria growth.

  1. Chemical Eye Burn

A chemical eye burn is a very serious eye injury and can lead to scarring, perforation of the eye and blindness. The three types of chemical eye burns are alkali burns, acid burns and irritants (including household detergents.)

It is very important to seek immediate medical attention from your eye doctor if you have experienced a chemical eye burn.

What to do

Immediately flush your eye with plenty of clean water and seek medical treatment.


Experiencing an Eye Emergency?

Contact one of our eye doctors immediately at 403-327-4166.

**Alberta Health Care covers all emergency eye care visits to Lethbridge Eye Clinic**


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