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Eye Emergencies

Person with Something in Her Eye

If you experience loss of vision, double vision, swelling, infection or any other eye emergency, contact us immediately for guidance. We can often accommodate short notice appointments in the case of an emergency for our current patients. If you try reaching us outside of our normal hours, you can proceed to the nearest urgent care centre, locally this is Hotel Dieu Hospital.

Eye emergencies happen when you least expect them, so knowing what to do if you or a loved one needs urgent eye care is vital.

Never try to judge the severity of an eye injury on your own. Instead, contact your eye doctor for instructions on what you should do in your situation. At St Lawrence Optometry, we treat and manage ocular emergencies and are here for you. It’s not always necessary to go to an emergency room for eye emergencies. That being said, if you think you need to head to the nearest emergency room, don’t delay.

What is an Eye Emergency?

The most common types of eye emergencies include:

  • Eye infection or redness
  • Foreign object stuck in the eye
  • Eye trauma
  • Eye pain or swelling
  • Scratch on the eye
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Lost contact lens in the eye
  • Sudden appearance of flashes of light or floaters
  • Double vision

Is an Eye Infection an Emergency?

While an eye infection like conjunctivitis (pink eye) usually doesn’t require emergency eye care, if you think you have an eye infection, it’s important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment.

What to Do if Something Gets Into Your Eye?

A foreign body can be anything from an eyelash or a speck of sand to a metal shard, blade of grass or piece of wood. No matter what the object is, it’s critical to have it removed quickly to reduce your risk of serious injury or infection.

Keep in mind that the eyes are extremely delicate and if you don’t know how to safely remove the foreign body, you can end up with sight-threatening complications. It’s therefore always best to seek urgent eye care if you can’t flush out the foreign body with water or saline solution.

What To Do If You Have an Eye Emergency?

Contact us for an emergency eye care appointment or further instructions. If you’re unsure whether your symptoms constitute an emergency, call us anyway – delaying treatment can put you at risk of serious complications that can result in vision loss.

Until you see your eye doctor or seek urgent care:

  • Don’t press on or rub an injured eye
  • Don’t attempt to remove a foreign body on your own
  • Don’t use dry cotton (including cotton swabs) or sharp instruments (such as tweezers) on the eye
  • Don’t attempt to remove an embedded object

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Our Innovation drive location hours are changing temporarily this summer, check our social media for updates or contact us before visiting the office.