Eye Emergency and Trauma When to Seek Treatment
Many eye injuries happen without our awareness of how they happened or when with symptoms occurring after the initial injury. They may occur from everyday activities such as prolonged wear of contact lenses, a scratch from makeup brushes, splashes of chemicals (example: cleaning solutions), tree/shrub branches scratch eye during hikes or lawn maintenance.
The eye may become scratched from a fingernail or a pet’s nail. Other times injuries occur during an explosion, assault, or motor vehicle accident. Eye injuries occur in many locations such as in the home, workplace, automobile accidents, and during participation in sports activities.
Eye emergencies may result from elevated pressure in the eye such as in glaucoma or as a complication following eye surgery.
How do I recognize an eye emergency / injury?
- Pain in the eye or orbital area
- Sudden decreasing vision
- Drainage from the eye
- Redness of the eye or orbital area
Frequent causes of eye injuries:
- Sports injuries – impact of ball to eye, impact from knees, elbows, impact to head or eye/orbit area, debris from ground flying into the eye
- Workplace injuries – metal shavings, welding, nail guns, chemical splash/exposure to eye
- Home- chemical splash/exposure to eye, power tools (saws, nail guns), lawn maintenance (cutting grass or weed eaters throwing debris such as sticks or rocks)
- Fireworks – personal use or bystander
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Assault – blow to the eye, gunshot to eye, stab wound to eye
Injuries may be the result of blunt force to the eye / orbital area, foreign body to the eye, or a penetrating injury to the eye. Injury may include a combination of these.
Eye emergencies / injuries can’t be diagnosed over the telephone. If you are concerned about your eye, please come to our eye emergency / trauma department.
Our eye emergency/trauma department has ophthalmology specialty trained physicians and nursing staff available 24/7; as well as access to all the special supplies, instrumentation, and equipment needed to properly evaluate eye emergencies / injuries.