If you have had an accident and fear your vision may be at risk, the best thing you can do is try to stay calm, then contact our eye care team for an emergency appointment. If for any reason we are unavailable, go directly to emergency services as quickly as possible. When it comes to your vision, early action always yields the greatest results.
Eye emergencies can happen in any number of ways, but workplace accidents are by far the most common. In fact, around 2,000 Americans are victims of workplace eye injuries which require medical treatment every single day.* If you are protected from any likely threat in the workplace, then you are highly unlikely to get injured. This is known as preventative eye care.
Depending on whether it’s an alkali or an acid burn, this could pose a serious threat to your eye health. The first action is the same, however. As soon as physically possible after the incident, place your open eye under a lukewarm tap and let the water run directly over the eyeball for 15 minutes. You can do this fully-clothed in the shower if you need to, as every minute can count.
After 15 minutes of rinsing, visit emergency services immediately. If we are unavailable, travel to the nearest emergency service and explain your situation. If possible, take someone else with you and have them bring the chemical in question- it could speed things up and aid your recovery.
If there is a foreign object embedded in your eye, then do not remove or touch it. Instead, place a protective item over your eye (such as a plastic cup) and go straight to emergency services, especially if you are in need of surgical attention (e.g. if you are bleeding heavily).
If your vision is not immediately threatened, then call our practice and arrange an emergency appointment. Try to have a friend drive you, if you aren’t within walking distance.
If you are used to floaters, then you only need to come for an emergency appointment if you notice a marked change to their size, number or activity.
If you experience flashes (“seeing stars”) then you must make an appointment. These are not a natural occurrence and very often precede a vision-threatening underlying condition.
If you experience any sudden vision loss, contact our practice immediately for an appointment. Lost vision is very often irreversible, but visiting an expert optometry clinic is your best chance of recovering some, or all, of your sight.