Emergency Eyecare

Published: 2023-05-16

Certain situations involving your eye require emergency care. On this page, we've outlined the key symptoms and conditions that indicate that your vision is in jeopardy and require immediate medical attention.

Signs of an eye emergency

  • A sudden loss of vision
  • Pain and redness
  • Seeing haloes, or circles around lights
  • Experiencing new floaters
  • Bulging or swelling of the eye
  • Double vision
  • Eyelids that are stuck together upon waking
  • Sudden and persistent blurred vision

Emergency eye conditions

The above symptoms are signs of serious eye conditions that require prompt treatment from a doctor. Some of the most common problems we see that demand emergency eyecare at the Benjamin Eye Institute include:

Eye infections.

Eye infections are very serious, and can worsen rapidly. Pink eye is one infection that requires emergency eyecare to prevent it from spreading and damaging your vision. Signs of this infection include red and watery eyes, itching, swelling, eye discharge, discomfort and blurry vision.

Eye injuries.

Many eye injuries require immediate treatment or surgery to prevent permanent damage or vision loss. If there's any question about the severity of your eye injury, we recommend erring on the side of caution and making an appointment.

The most common eye injuries we treat at the Benjamin Eye Institute in Los Angeles are corneal abrasions and traumatic iris. With corneal abrasion, our eye is scratched due to being poked or rubbed by dust or sand. They can be very painful and may cause sensitivity to light. If you think you have a corneal abrasion, don't rub your eye or patch it and make an appointment for emergency eyecare as soon as possible.

Traumatic iris occurs when the colored portion of the eye experiences inflammation after being poked or hit by a blunt object. There is a risk that this condition can result in decreased vision, so prompt attention is necessary.

Chemical exposure.

If you have been splashed or sprayed in the eye with a chemical substance, you need to be seen by a doctor immediately. Before arriving at our Los Angeles office, run your head under warm tap water for around 20 minutes. If your eye is red and your vision is blurry after being exposed to a chemical, you need emergency eyecare. Severe chemical exposures can cause serious eye damage and vision loss, so time is of the essence.

An object penetrating the eye.

If an object penetrates your eye, obtain emergency eyecare immediately. Do not try to remove the object yourself and avoid rubbing your eyes, as both actions could cause further damage. Place a loose eye shield to protect the area and seek medical attention right away to preserve your vision.