Understanding Eye Emergencies

Do you feel a burning or stinging sensation in your eyes? Is your vision of people or objects blurry? Worse, do you experience severe itching, headaches, or see flashing lights and floaters? Well, you could be having an eye emergency and need to see an eye doctor immediately.


Eye emergencies occur when an injury or burn affects your eye tissues. It could also happen when chemicals or foreign elements enter the eye. Different incidents and conditions can cause eye emergencies, with each displaying different symptoms. If not promptly diagnosed and treated, ocular emergencies can lead to permanent vision loss.


Retinal Tear / Detachment

According to recent statistics, retinal detachment affects at least 12 out of 100,000 people annually. It happens when there is a separation between the neurosensory retina layer and the deep-lying retinal pigment epithelium. Patients may experience eye floaters, flashing lights, and reduced visual acuity in the problematic eye.


Some of the risk factors include:


  • Age

  • High myopia

  • Cataract surgery

  • Eye trauma

  • Past retinal detachment

  • Family history


Retinal detachment is best treated through laser surgery. Laser treatment zips the retinal tear and reattaches it to the deep-lying retinal pigment epithelium.


Mechanical Globe Injury

Mechanical globe injuries are a result of a full-thickness split or a deep cut through the cornea and sclera. Patients with a rupture or deep cut on the globe will often develop persistent eye pain, tenderness, and reduced vision immediately after a blunt or sharp, penetrating object inflicts trauma to the eye.


This type of injury is common in the workplace and during recreational activities. Initial treatment includes topical antibiotics, a metal shield to cover the eye, and a tetanus booster if need be. Surgical treatment of the globe injury by an ophthalmologist removes intraocular foreign organisms that may cause posttraumatic endophthalmitis. The sooner the surgical repair is done, the better the outcome.


Chemical Injuries

Chemical eye injuries happen when the surface of your eye is exposed to an acid or alkali in a powder, gas, or liquid state. Chemical burns are responsible for almost three percent of all eye trauma emergencies. How severe the eye injury is will depend on the chemical’s pH level and how long the contact exposure lasted.


Patients with chemical eye injuries complain of redness, light sensitivity, eye pain, and poor vision. Chemical burns cause damages to the corneal epithelium and potentially affect the whole front surface of the eye.


Initial treatment will include administering topical anesthetics to the affected eye. It’s then flushed with water to get rid of the chemical on the eye surface. Subsequent care will depend on the severity of the burns.


Eye injuries may occur when least expected. In the unfortunate event they do, you can always trust Grove Eye Care to provide personalized eye care treatment. We have a highly trained and professional team of clinicians, technicians, opticians, and ophthalmologists ready to serve clients in our offices at Richmond and Midlothian, Virginia. 

To learn more about eye emergency signs or if you are experiencing an eye emergency currently, please contact Grove Eye Care in Richmond, Virginia at (804) 353-3937 or in Midlothian, Virginia at (804) 888-8998.

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(804) 353-3937
(804) 888-8998
8048888998 8048888999 14431 Suite B Sommerville Court
Midlothian, VA 23113