What to do in an eye emergency

Here at Respectacle Company we have a lot of loyal, long standing customers who have been coming to us and Mr Hanby, our optometrist, for many years and we value their loyalty. We believe they trust and value our experience, expertise and judgement and we always do everything we can to offer the best service and advice possible. We love that our customers feel they can call in if they have any concerns about their eye health; to have an informal chat and know that there is always someone available to be able to assist them with any problems they have with their eyes.

We find many people don’t quite know which route to take if they have a concern about their eyes. Sometimes it can be confusing whether they should visit the GP, pharmacy or their local optician. So we’ve put together a general guide as to which route we would recommend to take, depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing.
As a general rule of thumb, if the symptoms come on suddenly and you experience flashing lights, floaters and/or pain you should contact your local optometrist immediately, or go straight to eye casualty.

Red or bloodshot eyes

Red eye symptom can result from a whole spectrum of eye conditions, from conjunctivitis to acute closed angle glaucoma. Red eye is a condition where the white of the eye has become reddened or bloodshot. Some of these conditions are quite complex and worth explaining in more detail, which we’ll do in a separate blog.
But in general the important aspect of red eyes is what other symptoms are being experienced alongside the red bloodshot eyes. If your eyes feel gritty and sore with yellow discharge, it’s probably an infection and you should seek advice from either your GP or a pharmacist, who should be able to prescribe antibiotic drops. If the redness is localised and blood red, with no other symptoms, it may be a subconjunctival haemorrhage and will clear up by itself.
If you’re experiencing red eye it should be monitored in case the condition reoccurs, which may lead to an under lying cause relating to the haemorrhage. However, if the redness is generalised with reduced vision and suffering pain and possible nausea, this could be acute closed angle glaucoma. In these circumstances an urgent referral to hospital is necessary.

Eye trauma

Trauma to the eye can also occur in many different forms, from being hit in the eye or a foreign body becoming embedded in the eye, through to a chemical substance being splashed into the eye. All of which should be treated directly at the emergency department of your local hospital.
The list of scenarios is endless for different eye conditions. We’ve put together a check list below. So if you experience any of the following suddenly you should contact your optometrist for an immediate appointment. If your opticians are closed or the optometrist isn’t available, you should go to the nearest emergency department of your local hospital or eye casualty as soon as you can. Now, back to those symptoms:

  • Sudden pain
  • Sudden sight loss or reduced vision
  • Flashes or floaters
  • Sudden double vision
  • Abnormal pupil size or shape
  • Received eye trauma
  • Red eye or inflammation together with other symptoms

The main message is if you have any concerns about your vision or eye health, please call us and we can discuss the best course of action to take from the symptoms you’re experiencing. You only have one pair of eyes and they are too precious not to take good care of. You can get in touch with Respectacle Company by calling 01858 433577. You’ll find our optical boutique in Manor Walk, just off Coventry Road in Market Harborough.