Emergency Eye Care

Eye Health, Vision and Safety

Emergency Eye Care

It is often believed by many that eye care simply involves testing one’s eyes and wearing prescribed spectacles. Many are in fact not aware that there is far more to our eyes and their care than simply spectacles.

Most visits to primary eye care centres and community eye care practices are for routine examinations. These examinations usually involve a brief history taking, an assessment of the patient’s vision and muscle balance, correction through spectacles, a check of their external and internal eye health, and any other necessary tests.

There are however occasions which call for an emergency eye test. When an eye emergency arises, emergency eye care becomes crucial in order to preserve and often save one’s sight.

What would one consider to be an eye emergency?

Any eye condition or ocular event that can lead to a rapid loss in sight, deterioration of eye health and - in some cases - can even pose risk to an individual’s life, would classify as an eye emergency and would require urgent assessment and treatment.

Should such circumstances occur, you should immediately book an emergency eye test to see an optometrist, who could potentially refer you onward to an emergency eye clinic where necessary.

Eye emergency signs and symptoms

There are many warning signs and symptoms which would warrant speaking to an optometrist.

These include (and are not limited to):

  • A sudden loss in vision (with or without pain)
  • Severe pain
  • Sudden redness (often associated with pain or a loss in vision)
  • Swelling of the eyes
  • Trauma to the eye (scratches, knocks, bruises, bleeding, etc.)
  • Burns caused by chemical products (e.g. cleaning products, garden products, etc.)
  • Foreign particles/debris in the eye
  • Sudden double vision
  • Sudden flashing lights
  • Sudden floaters (small black particles/cobwebs moving in the eyes)
  • A curtain or dark shadow appearing over your vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Contact lens-related infections
  • Contact lens-related trauma (e.g. ripped lenses, lens fragments in the eye, lost lenses, etc.)

If you experience any of these symptoms, or a combination of them, you should immediately see a specialist to get your eyes checked. Taking immediate action could prevent permanent damage to your eyesight.

What you should do in an eye emergency

In case of an eye emergency, the first step to take is to seek advice from an eye care practitioner. In most cases this would be in primary eye care settings and in community eye care practices, such as high street opticians.

In most instances, getting an emergency eye test with your optician is a simple and quick process. You would simply need to call them and request an eye emergency appointment, which is treated as a priority. After your appointment, the optometrist will give you a diagnosis and will be able to advise you on the next steps to take.

If your eye emergency can be managed in practice, you will be given appropriate treatment, medications, and likely, a follow up appointment.

>However, if it is beyond your optometrist’s scope of practice, you will be refered on to an ophthalmologist with appropriate urgency. This will ensure that you are seen and your eyes are taken care of appropriately.

On the off chance you are unable to get an emergency eye test with your optician, the alternative option would be to attend your local ophthalmic A&E department.

What you should not do in an eye emergency

If you are worried about your eyes and vision, and in case of an eye emergency, please always get seen by an eye care practitioner as soon as you can to avoid potential complications.

Do not self-medicate or treat, as this can sometimes make matters worse. If you are concerned and something seems strange, you shouldn’t wait to get in touch with your optician.

When an eye emergency occurs, although you may be tempted, be sure not to:

  • rub your eyes
  • try and remove stuck objects from any part of your eye
  • put medications in your eye

Before taking any action, please see and talk to an expert.

Emergency eye care at Eye Emporium Opticians

At Eye Emporium Opticians, we offer eye emergency appointments, that anyone can book by simply giving us a call. Our optometrists are always available to help you put your mind at ease.

In the event that an eye emergency occurs or you are suffering from any of the symptoms or signs listed above, please do not hesitate to call us to arrange an emergency eye test. We will promptly assist you and address your emergency to manage it appropriately.

Eye emergency is covered by VCP

Certain eye emergencies are avoidable. Ensuring that you have regular eye tests will help monitoring conditions that may progress to sight loss. A routine eye test, or an OCT 3D scan, can help spot early signs of severe eye conditions that may show no symptoms in their early stage. During an eye test, our staff also provide patients with helpful information on eye care, contact lens care, and general optical advice.

The Eye Emporium Vision Care Plan (VCP) is a scheme that we have launched in the last year, which covers all your eye care needs, including emergency eye care. For more information, please get in touch or visit your nearest practice and a member of staff will be happy to talk you through the scheme and answer any questions you may have.

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