Your eyes are one of your body's most vulnerable and sensitive parts. As such, it is very easy for you to get eye injuries from normal day-to-day activities. Eye injuries are common, but some can lead to complete vision loss if not treated. The most common types of eye emergencies result from injuries.
Despite injuries constituting most eye care emergencies, some eye conditions may also fall into that category. The most common eye conditions usually develop slowly, and it is not until they are advanced that the symptoms begin to show. Because of this feature of many common eye conditions, experts advise everyone to have regular eye checkups.
So, what is considered an eye emergency?
As mentioned, the most common eye care emergencies occur from eye injuries. Here are the most common forms that occur.
Having a foreign object in your eye is a common occurrence. Almost everyone has had to deal with a speck of dust or an eyelash in the eye. However, some objects can be too big or too sharp that they cut into the eye.
Another common eye injury is chemical burns. When chemicals splash into the eye, they can cause significant damage. It is advisable to flush your eyes with clean water for about 15 minutes and then rush to the hospital for treatment.
According to eye doctors, three eye conditions fall under this category because of their effects and how fast you can lose vision. They are:
The main artery that provides blood to the retina is the ophthalmic artery, and it includes the central retinal artery as a branch. Significant vision loss due to ocular stroke occurs quickly because of the occlusion of the central retinal artery. But if only the extreme ends of the arteries are blocked, there could be a partial loss of vision.
Usually, this condition leads to painless but sudden vision loss. But the patient may report experiencing temporary and painless one-sided vision loss before it manifested. The condition may indicate another underlying condition like hypertensive emergencies, heart failure, or migraine auras. It is usually the case if the vision loss is bilateral, temporary, or acute.
Another common cause of eye care emergency from an eye condition is a specific form of glaucoma. Most forms of glaucoma develop slowly, with vision loss taking time to manifest. However, acute angle-closure glaucoma causes swift vision loss due to permanent damage to the optic nerve. Some of the symptoms of the condition are:
Severe eye pain
Colored halos around lights
Nausea and vomiting
If you present any of these symptoms, see an eye doctor immediately—you can lose your vision in a matter of hours if you don’t.
Another eye condition that falls in this category is retinal detachment. It is a rare condition, affecting about one in 10,000 people yearly. It may occur due to traumatic causes or natural reasons. People with myopia are more likely to develop the condition. When the sensitive layer of the retina detaches from the epithelium underneath, ischemia damages the photoreceptors.
For more about what an eye emergency is, call Grove Eye Care at our office in Richmond (804) 353-3937 or Midlothian (804) 888-8998, Virginia.