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COVID-19 –  What Is Considered to be an Eye Care Emergency? 

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An eye care emergency is defined as medical care for conditions requiring prompt medical attention due to a sudden change in ocular or visual health.

Anything that causes pain or immediate discomfort and requires immediate medical attention.  This includes: any trauma to the eye, chemical exposure, foreign objects, eye infection, sudden allergic reaction.  If you have an eye emergency, we can help you with immediate care, in order to avoid permanent damage to your vision.

Most eye emergencies are better treated by an experienced optometrist rather than at a hospital emergency room that might be staffed by ER doctors.  Local urgent care offices often refer their patients who have an eye emergency, to our office.

Going to the hospital for an eye emergency during the coronavirus pandemic isn't the fastest or safest way to treat the problem; the hospitals are already overloaded and you risk catching the virus during your visit. 

We, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge NJ offer personalized treatment for a wide range of eye emergencies and other ocular conditions. Call our office at 1-732-679-2020 for further instructions or call the number provided in the voicemail.

What Is an Eye Emergency?

Eye emergencies refer to any sudden onset of symptoms or obvious eye trauma that affect vision. These emergencies range from severe eye pain or vision loss to a sudden blow to the eye or chemical exposure. Call us if you experience any of the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Bleeding of the eye
  • Blood in the white of the eye
  • Swollen or bulging eye
  • Vision loss or double vision
  • New eye flashes or floaters
  • Pupils that are unequal in size
  • Severe photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Being hit in the eye
  • Bruising around the eye
  • Eye discharge
  • Suspected eye infection
  • Severe burning, stinging, itching eyes
  • Scratched or cut eye or eyelid
  • Split contact lenses in the eye
  • A piece of broken eyeglass lens in your eye
  • Foreign object stuck in the eye

If you’re uncertain whether or not your condition is an emergency, contact Family Eye Care immediately.

What Should I Do If I Have An Eye Emergency?

If you have a cut or foreign object in your eye, or if you suffered from other forms of eye trauma, DO NOT:

  • Rub your eye
  • Attempt to remove any foreign objects embedded in the eye
  • Use tweezers or swabs in your eye
  • Put any ointments or medication into your eye

First Aid for Eye Injuries

Refer to the following guidelines to prevent any long-term vision loss or eye damage.

Chemical Exposure

If a contact lens is in the eye, do not attempt to remove the contact lens using your fingers. Instead, flush saline solution or water over the lens immediately as it may dislodge the lens. Contact lenses can trap harmful chemicals against the cornea, causing unnecessary damage.

Call us for emergency medical care promptly after flushing.

To avoid eye exposure to toxic or abrasive chemicals, always wear protective eyewear and use caution when handling these types of products.

Foreign Object

Your first instinct might be to rub your eye to get the foreign object out, but try to resist rubbing because it can further damage your eye.  Try flushing it out first, under a faucet or with a spray from a bottle of saline.  First, wash your hands with warm water and soap to prevent contamination or infection.  You may need to gently lift the upper eyelid using your fingers.  Sometimes, the tearing alone is enough to flush out the foreign object.

if this does not work, then call us.

A Blow to the Eye

To treat a black eye, apply a cold compress to decrease swelling and support healing. Use the compress for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, allowing the eye to rest between applications. A cold compress can be made by wrapping a bag of peas, or other soft frozen items, in a clean cloth.

Never place ice directly on the skin; use a clean cloth between the skin and ice.

Call our office, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ, immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms after the eye is impacted:

  • Changes in vision
  • Persistent or increasing pain
  • Bleeding or any blood on the outside or inside the eye
  • Any visible difference to the appearance of your eyes

Cut or Puncture to the Eye

This type of injury always requires immediate medical care, so after you call us, make sure to follow these precautionary measures to avoid further injury:

  • Don't attempt to remove something embedded in the eye
  • Don’t wash the eye or eyelid
  • Try to shield the eye with something protective, for example – use a pad of cotton wool as an eye shield and tape it to the surrounding eye area

If you have an eye emergency, don't delay treatment. Timing is everything — the earlier you get treatment, the less vision damage you'll have over the long term. Take immediate action by contacting us.  We are equipped to treat eye emergencies.

We, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, serve patients from Old Bridge, Matawan, Aberdeen, Marlboro, Manalapan, South Amboy, East Brunswick, and those throughout NJ.