Emergency eye care can arise as a need at any time, due to illness or accident. While the eye care professionals at the Witlin Center for Advanced Eye Care, serving East Brunswick, Toms River, and Morristown, New Jersey, maintain slots for same-day urgent care, there may be times when your eyes need immediate attention. Listed below are a few examples of urgent and emergency situations and appropriate courses of action. If your issue is during business hours, contact the Witlin Center for Advanced Eye Care for advice.
The more an incident endangers your eyes and your vision, the more important it is to obtain immediate medical care. Since you may not know how dangerous your problem might be, consider the worst-case situation until you’re told otherwise by a medical professional. Your eyesight is too important to be casual about.
If your emergency occurs during office hours, call the Witlin Center for Advanced Eye Care first. The staff can advise you on your options, which may include an urgent office visit or advice to go to your nearest emergency medical care facility.
Below is a list of common urgent or emergency care problems that affect your eyes, as well as immediate actions you can take, where available while arranging medical care. Please note this is a general first aid guideline and not a substitute for medical advice at the time of your incident.
Abnormal pupil size
Unexplained or sudden changes to your pupil’s size, particularly if only one eye is affected, could be a symptom of a serious condition. Seek medical attention immediately.
Blood in the white of the eye
Called subconjunctival hemorrhage, there’s no first aid treatment. Seek medical care immediately.
Flush with cool water for 15 minutes, holding eyelids open. If contact lenses are worn, remove after flushing, if the flushing itself doesn’t wash away the lens.
Cuts to the eyelid
Carefully flush the eye with clean water. If bleeding is present, apply a clean, dry cloth with gentle pressure until the bleeding subsides. Cover with a clean dressing and a cold compress.
Most serious loss of vision causes are painless, but the need for immediate medical care is crucial since there’s usually only a narrow time window for successful treatment.
Don’t rub the affected eye. If another person is available to help locate the object, you can try gentle flushing. Avoid touching the surface of the eye. Even if flushing is successful, follow up with medical care as soon as possible.
Call 9-1-1 to arrange emergency treatment and transport or drive the patient to an emergency care facility if it’s safe to do so.