Types of Eye Emergencies

Types of Eye Emergencies


Accidents and injuries can affect any part of our bodies, including our eyes. As you might expect, if our eyes become hurt or we experience an urgent medical problem that affects them, it could have potentially severe and even life-changing consequences for our vision. For this reason, experts and eye doctors recommend that anyone who works in a job or participates in an activity where their eyes could be at risk invest in suitable protective eyewear. There are lots of different varieties available, from goggles to glasses and many of which you can wear your regular prescription lenses with too.


Some of the jobs and activities where our eyes are particularly at risk include:

  • Auto-repairs

  • Carpentry/woodworking

  • Construction

  • Electrical work

  • Maintenance

  • Manufacturing

  • Medical care

  • Mining

  • Plumbing

  • Sports, particularly those where you are moving at speed or an object is moving at speed towards you such as running, cycling, baseball, and ice hockey.

  • Welding


Your eye doctor will be able to advise you which protective eyewear they recommend based on your individual circumstances.


Common Types of Eye Emergencies


Some types of eye emergencies are more common than others. The following are some of the most common reasons for patients to visit an emergency eye doctor.


Chemical burn injuries


Chemical burns can affect the eyes as well as the skin. They occur when a chemical substance comes into contact with any part of the eye, including the eyeball itself and the skin around it. There can be many reasons why someone experiences a chemical burn, from spraying or dripping the chemical directly into your eye, to transferring the substance on the tips of fingers or gloves. Chemical burn injuries can range from mild to catastrophic, and you shouldn’t delay in rinsing your eyes immediately while also seeking emergency assistance from your eye doctor.


Foreign body in the eye


Getting dust, dirt, eyelashes or other small foreign bodies stuck in our eyes is fairly normal and, in most instances, frequent blinking and rinsing are enough to remove them. However, there are other things that can become lodged in the eyes that are far more dangerous – such as shards of metal or glass, or even something much larger. Protective eyewear is recommended for people who are participating in activities where there is a risk that something could go into their eye, but if you are unfortunate enough to experience a foreign body in your eye, you may need professional help to remove it. Don’t be tempted to rub your eye, as this could actually make the situation worse. Instead, cover your eye with a shield, paper cup, or even your hand until you can get to your emergency eye doctor.


Bleeding from the eye


Bleeding from the eye is never a good sign. In most cases, it is down to a small injury affecting the skin or soft tissues around the eyes, but sometimes the bleeding can come from the eyes themselves. If there is a significant amount of blood, we would recommend that you get your eyes checked out as a matter of urgency.


Significant eye pain


Temporary eye discomfort is fairly normal and can occur for a variety of reasons, such as irritation caused by allergies to eye strain or migraine. However, if your eyes are causing you significant pain, particularly if pain medications aren’t proving helpful, it is essential that you schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible so that they can determine the underlying cause and provide the right treatment.


Sudden vision changes


You probably have a fairly good idea as to how good your vision actually is. For example, you know whether you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses, or if you are sensitive to light. However, any sudden and dramatic changes to your vision could be a sign that there is an underlying problem, particularly if you also experience other symptoms like a headache or flashing lights or floaters.



When it comes to our eyesight it is better to be safe than sorry and so if you are at all concerned about vision changes that you are experiencing, don’t delay in speaking to our experienced and knowledgeable eye care team in Walla Walla, WA.