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Home » Eye Care Services » Eye Emergencies (Pink/Red Eyes)

Eye Emergencies (Pink/Red Eyes)

An eye emergency is any medical event that occurs in your eyes or around your eyes that requires immediate medical attention. While most of what we might perceive to be eye emergencies have a very low risk of complications, because of the importance of vision, even a small risk should be taken seriously. Because our optometrists specialize in eye care and have the latest technology for medical eye care, most emergencies related to your eyes should be seen at an optometrist as opposed to an urgent care facility or emergency room. 

There are certain conditions that pose more risk to your eye health and require immediate attention both day and night. 

  • Deep cuts, like a piece of glass stuck in your eye 
  • Profuse bleeding that will not stop 
  • Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes 
  • Severe eye pressure 
  • Nausea, headaches combined with vision loss 
  • Chemical spills in the eye, especially alkali based chemicals 

Most eye emergencies can be treated successfully at our optometry clinics in Lees Summit, Sedalia, Clinton, and Warrensburg. The following should call our practice as soon as possible to schedule an emergency eye exam. 

  • Cuts and scratches to the eye, in order to prevent infection 
  • Stye/chalazia (little bumps resembling pimples in the eye or eyelid area) that do not go away or are causing pain, discomfort, inflammation or severe red eyes. 
  • Eye infections and pink eye, in order to hasten the healing time and reduce the spread of infection. 
  • Severe dry eyes and severe eye allergies 
  • minor chemical spills after thorough rinsing
  • Black eyes, or trauma around the eye 
  • Eye pain, burning, stinging, gritty/sandy feeling in the eye 

Preventing eye emergencies is important to preserving the long-term health of your eyes. Children and active adults should consider impact-resistant lenses, new contact lens wearers should be encouraged to use proper hygiene and techniques, nails of little children should be cut, and chemicals should be kept away from children. If you have an eye infection, stay away from others and wash hands to prevent spreading the infection. 

Red, Pink or Sore Eyes?

We are ready to look after ALL of your eye care needs in one location. In addition to the services you already rely on us for such as routine eye exams, contact lenses, designer frames and eyeglasses - think of your Optometrist first for:

  • sore, red, or itchy eyes
  • treatment of "pink eye" and other bacterial infections
  • removal of foreign bodies from the eye (such as wood or metal)
  • treatment of eye allergies or burns
  • emergency eye care

This is convenient and cost effective for your whole family and you can be sure you are receiving the attention of an eye care specialist.

Eye Emergencies

We are always willing to help, should you ever experience an eye emergency. Our office provides emergency services for eye infections, eye injuries and other eye urgencies.  State of the art equipment allows us to examine the front surface of the eye and also digitally scan inside the eye for infection or damage We accommodate many eye emergencies such as:

  • Eye infections
  • Foreign materials stuck in the eyes
  • Eye trauma
  • Scratched eyes
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Lost or broken contact lenses or eyeglasses
  • Flashes of light in the vision
  • “Floaters” in the vision
  • Red or painful eyes
  • Dislodged contact lenses
  • Uncomfortable, itchy, or irritated eyes

Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of emergency room visits could have been treated by an optometrist. These ranged from foreign bodies to severe eye allergies to eye infections as the most common reasons for emergency room visits. It is not always necessary to go to an emergency room for eye emergencies. Optometrists are equipped to treat the majority of eye emergencies.

We understand the importance of eye care when you encounter symptoms such as those listed above. These are signs that an immediate evaluation or consultation is necessary - please call us to set one up if you are experiencing an eye emergency of any kind.

Foreign Body Removal

A foreign body is something such as an eyelash, sawdust, sand, or dirt can that gets into the eyes. The main symptom is irritation or pain. Depending on what it is and how the injury happened, the foreign body may pierce the eye and cause serious injury or it may simply go away with no long-term problem.

The foreign object may set off an inflammatory cascade, resulting in dilation of the surrounding vessels and subsequent edema of the lids, conjunctiva, and cornea. If not removed, a foreign body can cause infection.

If anything is stuck in your eye for more than a period of a couple of hours, you must immediately cease all attempts to remove it yourself. Keep in mind that the eyes are an extremely delicate organ and any attempts to try anything extra ordinary with them can only have negative and adverse results. If the foreign body you are talking about is not bothering you too much, then you are advised to visit an eye doctor to take care of it. If not you may need to call to emergency service of your region.

If there is a foreign body in your eye, such as a piece of grit, your eye doctor may try and remove it. They will put anaesthetic eye drops in your eye first, in order to numb it and prevent any pain.

If the foreign body is easy to get to, it may be possible to remove it by simply rinsing your eye with water, or by wiping it away with a cotton wool bud or triangle of card. However, if this is unsuccessful, your eye doctor may try and remove the foreign body by lifting it out with the tip of a small metal instrument.

The foreign body could be stuck underneath your upper eyelid, especially if you can feel something there, or you have scratches or grazes (abrasions) on the top half of the transparent outer layer of your eye (cornea). If this is the case, it may be necessary to gently turn your eyelid inside out in order to remove the foreign body.

Once the anesthetic eye drops have worn off, your eye may feel a bit uncomfortable until your abrasion heals.

Whatever is happening with your eyes or if you suffer or even suspect that a foreign body has penetrated the outer eye layer better go without delay to the nearest treatment center. Doing nothing can lead to loss of vision, premature cataracts and damage to the retina so do not take any chances, delay is dangerous.

Our Vision Centers are proud participants in the InfantSee program. Learn more.