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Eye Emergencies (Pink/Red Eyes)

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If you experience loss of vision, double vision, swelling, infection or any eye emergency, contact us immediately for guidance. We’ll help you with the best treatment to prevent complications and promote long-lasting clear eyesight.

Please call our office at: (484) 202-6212 for further instructions. Use your best judgment on urgency, if you feel your need to find the nearest emergency room.

In case of emergency, please call Dr. Ganly’s cell phone at (484) 678-7276 or email Dr. Ganly directly at DrGanly@GanlyVisionCare.com.

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
  • post-surgical follow-up

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 extraordinary 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 anesthetic 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.

Q&A

Foreign Body Removal

  1. I have sand stuck in my eye, is it dangerous?

If the sand can be flushed out of the eye with saline (preferred, if available) or water, and if the irritation/symptoms improve over the next few hours then the eye should be fine. If the sand is still in the eye after flushing, avoid excessive eye rubbing so that you do not cause a corneal abrasion (or scratch on the transparent front surface of the eye). Instead, continue to periodically flush the eye and frequently lubricate with artificial tears. If the irritation persists or a corneal abrasion ensues- which could be symptoms of increased eye pain, irritation, redness, blurry vision, etc- then an appointment with your eye doctor would be appropriate in order to avoid possible infection or complications.

  1. I have something stuck in my eye, how should I remove it?

Wash your hands. Try not to rub the eye excessively. Flush the eye with saline (again if available) or water. If stuck to the inner eye lid or conjunctiva (layer covering the white of the eye and inner eye lids), use a moistened Q-tip and try to gently dislodge the foreign body. If unsuccessful, follow up with your eye doctor for removal.

  1. I feel like I have dirt in my eye when I wear contact lenses, is that dangerous?

The contact lens could have a build up of dirt or deposits on it. The lens could also be ripped, torn, or fitting poorly. Continuing wear of the lens could result in further irritation and possible corneal inflammation or a break in the corneal epithelium (surface layer). A break in the cornea could then lead to an infection and vision loss (which could be permanent if left untreated). Untreated inflammation could also lead to corneal scarring and subsequent vision loss as well. The contact lens should be changed or cleaned thoroughly. If the irritation persists, then stay out of the contact for a couple of days until the eye feels better, frequently lubricating the eye with artificial tears, or follow up with your eye doctor to rule out inflammation or infection.

  1. I spilled a chemical in my eye, what should I do?

Immediately flush the eye repeatedly with saline, an eye wash or water. After vigorous flushing, if any pain, irritation, redness, or blurry vision persists, go see an eye doctor as any chemical lingering in the folds of the eye’s tissues could cause further damage.

  1. I spilled some chemical in my eye, should I remove my contacts or leave them in?

Remove the contact lens right away as the chemical can get trapped in the lens and keep your eye continuously exposed to the harmful chemical. Then flush the eye vigorously. Again, if any pain, irritation, blurry vision, etc, persists, call your eye doctor for an evaluation.

  1. I have sand stuck in my eye, is it dangerous?

If the sand can be flushed out of the eye with saline (preferred, if available) or water, and if the irritation/symptoms improve over the next few hours then the eye should be fine. If the sand is still in the eye after flushing, avoid excessive eye rubbing so that you do not cause a corneal abrasion (or scratch on the transparent front surface of the eye). Instead, continue to periodically flush the eye and frequently lubricate with artificial tears. If the irritation persists or a corneal abrasion ensues- which could be symptoms of increased eye pain, irritation, redness, blurry vision, etc- then an appointment with your eye doctor would be appropriate in order to avoid possible infection or complications.

  1. I have something stuck in my eye, how should I remove it?

Wash your hands. Try not to rub the eye excessively. Flush the eye with saline (again if available) or water. If stuck to the inner eye lid or conjunctiva (layer covering the white of the eye and inner eye lids), use a moistened Q-tip and try to gently dislodge the foreign body. If unsuccessful, follow up with your eye doctor for removal.

  1. I feel like I have dirt in my eye when I wear contact lenses, is that dangerous?

The contact lens could have a build up of dirt or deposits on it. The lens could also be ripped, torn, or fitting poorly. Continuing wear of the lens could result in further irritation and possible corneal inflammation or a break in the corneal epithelium (surface layer). A break in the cornea could then lead to an infection and vision loss (which could be permanent if left untreated). Untreated inflammation could also lead to corneal scarring and subsequent vision loss as well. The contact lens should be changed or cleaned thoroughly. If the irritation persists, then stay out of the contact for a couple of days until the eye feels better, frequently lubricating the eye with artificial tears, or follow up with your eye doctor to rule out inflammation or infection.

  1. I spilled a chemical in my eye, what should I do?

Immediately flush the eye repeatedly with saline, an eyewash or water. After vigorous flushing, if any pain, irritation, redness, or blurry vision persists, go see an eye doctor as any chemical lingering in the folds of the eye’s tissues could cause further damage.

  1. I spilled some chemical in my eye, should I remove my contacts or leave them in?

Remove the contact lens right away as the chemical can get trapped in the lens and keep your eye continuously exposed to the harmful chemical. Then flush the eye vigorously. Again, if any pain, irritation, blurry vision, etc, persists, call your eye doctor for an evaluation.

Scratches

  1. My child scratched my eye…. What should I do?

You could possibly have a corneal abrasion if the scratch occurred on the transparent tissue over the colored part of the eye. The cornea is extremely important, because an infection or scar centrally or near the center, can cause severe vision loss. It would be best to be seen by your eye doctor, to check for corneal abrasion and get treatment if needed.

  1. Is a scratch on the eye dangerous?

The conjunctiva (clear layering overlying the white of the eye and the inner eyelids) and cornea regenerate and heal very quickly. However, like a cut on your skin, there is now a risk for infection because the outer barrier of the eye has been compromised. Fortunately, most times the eye’s tissues heal on their own if the scratch isn’t too deep. But if the scratch is causing a lot of pain, irritation, light sensitivity, tearing or blurry vision, it is best to see your eye doctor examine the scratch more closely and treat if necessary.

Trauma

  1. I got hit in the eye with a baseball, is that dangerous for my vision?

Being hit in the eye with a baseball is considered a form of blunt trauma to the eye and a patient with this type of injury should be urgently examined by an eye doctor. Bruising or swelling of the surrounding eyelid and skin is a very common and visible sign of blunt trauma, but there can be more severe and vision-threatening signs that aren’t seen without a thorough eye exam. Trauma can result in bleeding in the anterior and posterior segments of the eyes, damage to the eye’s drainage structures, broken orbital bones, or retinal detachments or tears. It is best to be examined to rule out any major issues that could possibly result in severe vision loss.

  1. Should I visit an eye doctor if I got a black eye?

Similar to the above question, a black eye is a common result of blunt trauma and the inner eye should be checked thoroughly by an eye doctor for damage.

  1. I have pain in my eye after getting a black eye, should I visit the emergency room or an eye doctor?

If the pain feels like it is in the eye itself, it may be best to be checked by your eye doctor first as this could be caused by inflammation or bleeding within the eye as a result of the trauma. If the pain seems to be more in the area surrounding the eye, especially the bones, then it may be best to go to an emergency room and get the necessary X-rays or scans to rule out an orbital fracture. An orbital fracture needs to be ruled out especially when any symptom of double vision, an inability to move the eye in a certain direction or a mispositioning of the eye (ie sitting in a position lower, more forward, or more pushed back then your opposite eye) is present.