Symptoms Of Vision Problems And Eye Injuries That Warrant An Emergency Eye Exam

Posted on: 2 March 2015

Having problems with your vision can be extremely frightening. Although many eye conditions are only minor and the symptoms are temporary, some vision symptoms may be a sign of a serious eye injury, eye disease or health condition that could affect your entire body. An eye injury, such as minor surface scratches, typically only needs an eye exam and monitoring to ensure an infection doesn't occur. However, some eye injuries, such as a deep puncture wound may require surgery to prevent permanent damage. This mini-guide to common eye injuries can help you understand when emergency eye exams are essential in order to prevent further damages to your eye.

Symptoms of Vision Problems

There are several symptoms you should be aware of that will alert you of possible damages that may lead to sudden short-term or long-term vision problems. If you experience any of the following, seek medical attention for an emergency eye exam as soon as possible:

  • Sudden, unexplained loss of vision.
  • Pain in or around your eyes.
  • Flashing light or floating objects in your vision.
  • Slept in your contacts and awoke with a light sensitive, painful and red eye.
  • Constant and unexplained headaches
  • Conditions that affect the eyes, such as diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Foreign Objects in the Eye

If you get a foreign object, such as a fish hook, metal shavings, or glass in your eye, you should not attempt to remove it yourself. It is essential that you go to a local emergency room or optometrist that provides emergency eye exams. Trying to remove the object yourself can cause serious damage, especially metal which can penetrate into the interior of your eye. In some situations, metal can quickly create a rust ring, which leads to significant scarring on the eye. If possible, cover the injured eye with a paper cup or an eye shield for protection until you can get medical attention.

Chemical Burns

A chemical burn can happen from splashing, fumes, vapors and/or transferring from your hand to your eyes. Some chemicals, such as hair spray, may sting or burn, but they are fairly harmless. However, chemicals that contain alkali substances, including household cleaners, such as toilet bowl or oven cleaners, can cause serious injuries to the eyes. If you are splashed in the eye, put your head under a steady flow of lukewarm tap water for several minutes. Do not rub your eye, but cover with a clean, soft cloth and seek medical attention immediately.

Eye Swelling

Puffy, swollen eyelids can occur for a number of reasons, such as lack of sleep or an eyelash in your eye. However, if you are hit in the eye with an object such as a baseball, it is important to have an eye exam to ensure there is not internal damage to the eye. Immediately after being struck, place an ice pack on the injured eye and seek medical attention.

Traumatic Iritis

Traumatic iritis is inflammation on the colored part of your eye (iris) that surrounds the pupil. Traumatic iritis occurs after an injury to the eye. Traumatic iritis can lead to serious, even permanent damage to your vision, so it is essential that you seek medical attention immediately after the injury occurs.

For more information, contact Montgomery Eye Center or a similar location.