Some of the most common eye emergencies include:
Eye Trauma: Any injury to the eye can potentially threaten vision. Such incidences range from a mild corneal scratch to puncture wounds or a foreign object within the eye, through to serious trauma that causes extreme disruption to the tissues of and around the eye.
Chemical exposure: This might be in the form of liquids, gases, fumes, or aerosols. No matter what the substance, prompt decontamination is required
Burns: Any burns to the eyes or face warrants immediate attention. Burns can be caused by direct heat, scalding water, hot oil, or other hot substances.
Retinal detachment: While this can happen gradually, a sudden retinal detachment is an acute emergency. It occurs when the retina pulls away from the interior surface within the eye, causing symptoms that include flashes of light or the sudden appearance of floaters. You might also experience a shadow or curtain that intrudes from the outside of the eye towards the center.
Acute glaucoma: This is when the pressure within the eye rises suddenly, reducing blood flow and compressing the optic nerve. Symptoms can be severe and include pain, redness, nausea and vomiting, and visual disturbances.
Retinal artery or vein occlusion: Caused when the blood vessels within the eye become blocked. While often painless, it leads to a sudden loss of vision.
No matter what the cause, any sudden changes in vision, severe eye pain, trauma, or swelling warrants immediate care from an emergency eye doctor.