Effective 3/17/2020, We are open for limited operations and hours because of COVID 19

Common Ocular Emergencies

Common Ocular Emergencies

Woman experiencing eye pain

Is Your Eye Pain an Emergency?

Do you know when you should call the eye doctor if you have eye pain? Waiting too long to seek treatment can prolong your pain and result in permanent vision loss in some cases.

Don't Ignore Eye Pain

Pain is a warning sign that should never be overlooked. Even if your pain seems fairly mild, it's important to see your optometrist as soon as possible. If you wait, the pain may worsen and you may face the loss of vision.

Do you know what types of conditions and injuries require an immediate visit to the eye doctor or emergency room? You'll need immediate care if you experience any of these six eye issues.

Corneal Abrasion or Ulcer

A scratch or ulcer on your cornea, the clear, rounded layer that covers your iris and pupil, can be very painful. Corneal abrasions often heal on their own, but ulcers may require treatment with antibiotics, antifungal, or antiviral eye drops to prevent scarring and vision loss.

Other symptoms of abrasions or ulcers may include blurry vision, tearing, sensitivity to light, redness, and a foreign body sensation. You may be more likely to develop an infected corneal ulcer if you wear your contact lenses longer than recommended, don't clean your lenses often enough, or swim in them.

Foreign Bodies and Lacerations

An eye injury can occur if you get something in your eye or a foreign object cuts your eye. These injuries can occur if you don't wear eye protection when you play sports or use machinery, but may also happen if you have a motor vehicle or other type of accident. Even mowing the lawn without eye protection can increase your risk of one of these eye injuries.

Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need antibiotic drops, removal of the foreign body, stitches, or surgery to repair damage caused by a cut.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma symptoms occur suddenly and may include severe pain in your eye and head, loss of vision or blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, or halos around lights. The condition occurs when drainage channels inside your eye become blocked by your iris, increasing the pressure in your eye.

Surgery to remove a small piece of the iris and unblock drainage channels will help protect your vision, although some vision loss may still occur.

Ocular Shingles

In addition to causing a painful, red rash on your body, shingles may also affect your eyes. Approximately 200,000 Americans develop shingles in their eyes every year, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Redness, vision changes, light sensitivity, and tearing can also occur with ocular shingles. Vision loss can be temporary or permanent.

Treatment includes steroid drops to decrease inflammation and drops that reduce pain by keeping your pupils dilated.

Optic Neuritis

Optic Neuritis occurs when your optic nerve begins to swell. The nerve transmits light impulses from your eyes to your brain. If the nerve doesn't function properly, you'll have difficulty seeing. You may feel pain when you move your eyes or might notice that the back of your eye hurts if you have optic neuritis. Other symptoms can include blurry vision and faded colors.

Corticosteroids, a type of medication that decreases swelling, can be helpful if you have optic neuritis.

Uveitis

The middle part of the eye becomes inflamed if you have uveitis. The condition can cause mild to severe vision loss if eye tissue is damaged. Pain, blurry vision, small pupil size, redness, and sensitivity to light are common symptoms. People who have certain diseases and conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS, shingles, ulcerative colitis, and Kawasaki disease, are at an increased risk of developing uveitis.

Eye doctors treat uveitis with corticosteroid drops, pills, and injections to reduce spasms or suppress the immune system. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Do you or a family member have eye pain? Prompt treatment will help you protect your vision. Call our office right away to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

National Eye Institute: Uveitis, 7/11/19

American Academy of Ophthalmology: Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus: A Growing Risk, 7/17

All About Vision: Eye Pain: Causes of Pain In, Around, or Behind Your Eyes and Treatment Options, 6/ 20

Cleveland Clinic: Eye Pain: Possible Causes

American Academy of Ophthalmology: Recognizing and Treating Eye Injuries, 2/25/19

All About Vision: Eye Shingles: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

American Academy of Ophthalmology: What Is Optic Neuritis, 4/9/20

Testimonials

  • This was my first time getting glasses & I was very pleased with how lovely the staff was! In addition, all of my questions were answered thoroughly & I loved how in-depth my prescription was described to me. The selection of glasses is wonderful! Love, love, love Helmus Optometry! 

    - Andi V.
  • My experience with Dr. Joann Helmus and the team at Helmus Optometry was excellent from start to finish. Office staff were kind and professional. I was confident in the quality and thoroughness of Dr. Helmus' exam. I have already recommended the practice to others. Many thanks to Helmus Optometry for the excellent care!

    ...
    Read More - Grace B.
  • For over twenty years I have seen Dr. Joann Helmus annually as my optometrist. The very high standard of service and technical knowledge of both doctor and staff has never wavered. Consistently modernizing their examination equipment in providing the most up-to-date exams and accurate prescriptions. Their selection of eyeglass frames is most complete range of style choices. The staff are very knowledgeable of insurance allowances, and discussed with me the many options available. Have many times and will continue recommending this outstanding optometric office to family and friends.

    ...
    Read More - Michael W.
  • Great optometrist. Fast and quality service always.

    - Logan K.
  • Extremely professional, kind, helpful, staff from top to bottom! Exam was thorough and well diagnosed. Best glasses fitting ever, and that is with progressives. Quick service. I feel staff is very knowledgeable and willing to go to any extent to spend time with you and be helpful. Just moved to Davis and this is a great find. Highly recommend!!

    ...
    Read More - Sally D.
  • My family have been coming here for years! Always exceptional service and spend the time to figure our insurance coverage details. Highly recommended!!!

    - Pete K.
  • Everyone was so nice and accommodating. Dr. Helmus was very sweet and took the time to really talk to me like a person and not just another dollar sign. They also had a nice selection of glasses in many different styles and price ranges. Most insurance policies are covered here as well. Definitely a plus! They'll always have my business! 

    ...
    Read More - Allyson C.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

Hours of Operation

Monday

Open By Appointment Only

Tuesday

Open By Appointment Only

Wednesday

Open By Appointment Only

Thursday

Open By Appointment Only

Friday

Open By Appointment Only

Saturday

Open By Appointment Only

Sunday

Closed

Monday
Open By Appointment Only
Tuesday
Open By Appointment Only
Wednesday
Open By Appointment Only
Thursday
Open By Appointment Only
Friday
Open By Appointment Only
Saturday
Open By Appointment Only
Sunday
Closed

Our Location