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Eye Emergencies (Pink/Red Eyes)

Red, Pink or Sore Eyes?

Our eye doctors 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 our Cincinnati optometrists 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.

My Eyes are all Red and Itchy? How can my eye doctor help me with that?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and seen that your eyes are all red? What you are seeing is called “red eye’ and it is an indication of irritated and bloodshot eyes. Red-eye is usually accompanied by an itching, burning or tearing sensation. This common eye disease can be brought on by a variety of factors including:

  • A broken blood vessel on the surface of the eye
  • physical injury or inflammation of your eye
  • Allergies stemming from pollen, dust or smoke
  • A stye or red bump in the eye
  • Over-wearing contact lenses

If your red eye persists or gets worse, contact your eye doctor right away. Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam and a variety of tests which will help diagnose the source of your red eye and the appropriate treatment.

I’ve Got Something Stuck in My Eye. What do I do?

This is a common eye care issue, and in all likelihood, there is no need to visit the ER or your primary care provider. Whatever you have stuck or lodged in your eye, your local optometrist has likely removed that exact type of object from a patient’s eye before. Nonetheless, it is important to see your eye doctor as quickly as possible, in order to prevent infection or a serious eye injury. Do not rub your eye or attempt to remove the object yourself.

Objects that commonly need to be removed include metal, glass, wood, plastic, sand. You may have also experienced a caustic foreign substance such as acid or other chemicals that enter the eye. In this case, put your head under the tap and let warm tab water stream through your eye for 15 minutes, and then call your eye doctor.

Pink Eye Emergency in Cincinnati, Opticare Vision CenterIs Pink Eye an Eye Infection that Requires Urgent Care?

You have probably heard that Pink Eye, also known as Conjunctivitis, is extremely contagious, and you must see an eye doctor right away to treat the condition, and prevent it from spreading to others. This is true, particularly in school settings, where it’s easily passed from one child to another.

What is Pink Eye? It is an inflammation of the membranes covering the white parts of the eyes and the inside of the eyelids.

There are actually three types Pink Eye, and only one of them is very contagious:

  • Allergic Conjunctivitis - is usually caused by things like dust, pollen or animal hair.
  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis - is caused by bacteria, and can cause serious complications if not treated by your eye doctor right away.
  • Viral Conjunctivitis - is caused a virus, such as the flu or even the common cold. This is the type of Pink Eye that is highly contagious.

For either of these conditions, it is usually not necessary to go to the Emergency Room or to an urgent care facility. Pink Eye is the most common eye emergency, and your eye doctor at Opticare Vision can diagnose and treat any kind of Pink Eye.

Regardless of the type of Pink Eye, you may have, its very important to see an optometrist in order to confirm that your symptoms are not due to a more serious eye issue. Also, with prompt and early diagnosis, we can help to limit its spread to others.

When is a Scratched Eye an Eye Emergency?

A common eye injury involves a scratch or cut in the eye, or the eyeball itself. It may have happened at work while exercising or during sports, or it may have happened inadvertently while someone's finger rubbed against your eye.

Either way, a scratch or cut that happens directly on the eye itself can cause significant damage to the cornea (the outermost layer of the eye) as well as to the inner eye tissue. If left untreated, it can result in severe visual damage. In most cases, it is important to get medical attention right away.

What to do?:

1) Seek emergency eye care from your eye doctor if:

  • You are unable to see or your vision is significantly impaired
  • You have a foreign object (i.e., a piece of metal or plastic) lodged in your eye
  • You experience severe pain or increased sensitivity to light.

2) Do not apply pressure or rub the eye.

3) If it is not an emergency situation or if you are not able to have your eye treated right away:

  • Flush the eye with clean water or saline solution to remove any particles
  • Gently apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and any bleeding

Eye Emergencies

We are always willing to help, should you ever experience an eye emergency. Opticare Vision Centers in Greater Cincinnati area provide 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
  • Scratched eyes
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • 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. Our 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 extraordinary 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 care expert in the Cincinnati area to take care of it. If not you may need to call to the 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 anesthetic 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 the 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 anesthetic 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, a delay is dangerous.

Source: Removing a Foreign Body from Your Eye, article by All rights reserved.  Reproduction other than for one-time personal use is strictly prohibited.

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