Injuries to the eye (or ocular injuries) are some of the scariest to think of. Your eyes are so vital to everyday activity and the thought of something happening isn’t someone thing we like to think about, especially when it comes to our children. The truth, unfortunately, is that eye emergencies do occur.
If you find yourself with an eye emergency that’s life-threatening, the first thing we advise is calling 911. Having a paramedic arrive and take you and your child is the safest route when something sudden and tragic occurs.
But if you have an eye emergency that isn’t life-threatening, we hope you take comfort in knowing that we have a great deal of experience working with these conditions and can treat you right here in our office.
Initial Evaluation for an Eye Emergency
When a patient comes into our office with an eye emergency, the first test we administer is the visual acuity test, or a visual test using the Snellen chart. The Snellen chart is that pyramid of letters we’ve all seen at our doctor’s office with large letters on top that get progressively smaller as you move down.
We see many times during eye emergencies that the pain makes it too difficult for our patient to open their eyes. In this case, we can give an eyedrop which will act as an anesthetic, allowing the patient relief from the pain so that we can properly diagnose the problem.
Treatment for a Puncture Wound of the Eye
The entire eyeball itself is referred to as the “globe,” and any puncture to your globe is called a global puncture wound. If a patient is brought to our office with this, we will perform what is called a Seidel Test, to make sure nothing is leaking from your eye.
While this may seem traumatic, it is a critical part of the examination for an eye emergency.
What We Can Uncover
Our evaluation stage is performed to allow us to find the root of the problem as quickly as possible. Eye emergencies, unlike any other reason for a visit to our office, must be acted upon quickly. During this evaluation, we will be able to discover the underlying problem.
Some common causes of eye emergencies we find are:
- Retinal Detachment
- Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma
- Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
- Chemical Injury
- Eyeball Puncture
- Acute Hyphema
- Corneal Abrasion
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
If you or your child have pain or anything related to a serious injury, remember first that life-threatening injuries should always trigger a 911 call.
If the emergency is not life-threatening, our patients are welcome into our office so that we may properly investigate and find the root of the problem.