When Does an Eye Issue Need an Urgent Care Visit?

When Does an Eye Issue Need an Urgent Care Visit?

When you’re concerned with a condition affecting your eyes or vision, you may feel the need for immediate medical attention. After all, you have one set of eyes, so it’s natural you want to protect your sight. 

However, over 93% of all emergency room visits for eye issues are for mild conditions that don’t need urgent care. About one-quarter of these visits are for three minor conditions: pinkeye, swollen eyelids, and eyelid bumps. 

Regular eye care with the optometric physicians at Accent Vision Specialists in Santa Fe, New Mexico, can help keep your eyes in top shape. There are, however, some instances where urgent care may be essential to protect your eyes and preserve your vision, and our experts are here with those services when needed. Here’s what you need to know. 

What constitutes an eye emergency?

Generally speaking, you require urgent care for your eyes if you have a foriegn object in your eye (including splashed chemicals), when an injury affects your eye or the area surrounding it, or when you experience sudden changes to your sight including vision loss, even if it’s temporary. 

There are a range of symptoms that suggest the need for urgent care. These include:

Other symptoms like eye redness, extreme itchiness, or discharge may be signs of mild eye conditions, but if these are accompanied by one or more of the listed symptoms, there’s cause to seek urgent care. 

Check the symptoms for conjunctivitis (pinkeye), blepharitis (swollen eyelids), and chalazion (eyelid bumps) to see if these match your condition, since it’s more likely you have one of these nonurgent conditions. 

A sudden traumatic injury that affects the area around one or both eyes, such as from a car accident or sports activity, is often a reason for urgent care, even if your eyes don’t seem to be immediately affected. 

How to respond to an urgent eye issue

When you recognize an eye condition that requires urgent care, your best recourse is to contact Accent Vision Specialists immediately. Our office provides walk-in visits and same-day appointments as well as after hours, weekend, and holiday care. 

Otherwise, don’t try to treat the problem yourself. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, no matter how tempting it is to try. Any foriegn object that’s caught in your eye is best left alone until your urgent care visit. Don’t use eye drops or ointments until cleared by a medical professional. 

If you wear contact lenses and suffer an eye injury, leave them in place, since it’s possible to increase the damage if you try to remove them. 

The only time to take immediate action in the case of an urgent eye issue is flushing your eyes with water after a chemical splash. In this case, it’s also okay to remove your contacts if they aren’t removed by the water. 

Whether you need urgent eye care or an annual eye check, contact Accent Vision Specialists today. Call 505-984-8989 to schedule your next visit. 

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