Monday, March 8, 2010

Emergency Eye Care

Here are some examples of an emergency eye care event. It's a Sunday and you are working in the garden and you brush up against a bush and scratch your cornea. This is a very painful event and it requires attention ASAP. You have options: 1. You could call your eye doctor 2. You could go to the "emergency room" at the nearest hospital 3. You could go to an "urgency care center" 4. You could hope for the best and just use artificial tears until Monday rolls around.

The best thing to do in this situation is to seek professional treatment. If you go to an urgency care center or an emergency room, make sure that they have what is called a "slit lamp". This is a high powered microscope that allows the doctor to visualize the front part of the eye with a very high degree of magnification. With this tool the doctor can see the exact cause of the abrasion, whether any material remains embedded in the corneal tissue, and can determine the best approach for treatment. If any debris or a foreign body is in the cornea, this must be removed for proper healing to occur. The doctor will use an anesthetic eye drop and remove the object or debris.

The treatment usually involves prescribing an antibiotic eyedrop or ointment, a pain reliever and resting the eyes for a few days. The best way to find a doctor that provides emergency eye care is to first try your regular eye doctor. If your regular eye doctor is not available and you cannot get a reference to a doctor that is available, look up doctors that provide emergency eyecare using an internet search engine such as "Google" or "Yahoo". In most cases, it will be significantly less expensive to seek out an individual eye doctor for treatment rather than to go to an emergency room. The chances are that you will be seen very quickly and the problem will be attended to. There is normally a premium charged for after hours care, but it is still significantly less expensive than going to a hospital emergency room in most situations. Make sure to ask if the doctor takes your insurance so that you can be reimbursed for a portion of the cost of the visit.

It is possible that the problem is so serious that it does require the care of an eye specialist. If this is the case, the eye doctor that sees you can refer you to the proper facility for further treatment when necessary. This may be the case if a caustic chemical gets in the eye. If this is the case, you should flush the eyes out with lots of water and seek treatment ASAP. Other eye emergencies or urgencies involve eye infections, iritis, pain in the eye, loss of vision, visual disturbances, increases in floaters, sudden blurred vision and light flashes.

The best way to deal with these issues is to first call your regular eye doctor. Your regular eye doctor may be able to see you to take care of the problem or to refer you to someone that is available to help you. If not, try the above mentioned internet search engines or go the the emergency room at the nearest hospital. You may have to wait longer, but they will make sure that you are treated for the particular problem.

If you have any questions about the above information, please contact me at or review the information contained in our website,

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