Apex Vision - Apex Vision Optometrists - West Edmonton Eye Care
6104 - 172 Street
Edmonton, AB
P 780 761 2739
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Eye Emergency Services

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The Majority of Eye Emergencies are Preventable

Types of Eye Emergencies

There are many different types of eye emergencies from traumas to the eye to burns and abrasions. As the eye is made of delicate tissues and membranes it is important to seek immediate medical assistance from either your family optometrist or go directly to the closest walk in emergency facility.

Chemical Injuries

Eyes are extremely sensitive, and even minor eye damage can have lasting consequences. Foreign objects and chemical injuries should be treated immediately to protect the eye from infection, inflammation and vision loss. Anyone experiencing an eye emergency in Edmonton/ Callingwood should contact us immediately to determine whether the injury can be treated at our office or if the patient should visit an urgent care center.

Chemical Burns

If a gardening chemical, cleaning product, battery acid or industrial chemical gets into your eyes, it may cause a chemical burn. However, some chemical injuries occur even when the eye has not come into direct contact with a chemical. Symptoms of a chemical burn may include:

  • Pain
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Blurred Vision
  • Eyelid Swelling
  • Feeling of Something in the Eye

Depending on the agent that has caused a burn, damage may be treatable or permanent. Acid burns that are treated quickly often heal well, although some damage the surface of the eye and can even cause blindness. On the other hand, alkaline products like lye, lime, sodium hydroxide and drain cleaners can penetrate the eye’s surface and cause permanent damage to the cornea and lens. Other substances have a neutral pH and are merely irritants. No matter what kind of substance your eye has come into contact with, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to minimize the damage. Untreated burns can lead to infection, cataracts, glaucoma and even blindness.

How to Treat Chemical Burns

Many workplaces that use potentially harmful chemicals have eye-washing stations for employees. However, chemical burns may also occur in the home or another location with no emergency equipment. If an eye-washing station is unavailable:

  • Turn your head and hold the eyelid open while pouring fresh, clean, cool water over the eye.
  • Irrigate the injured eye immediately with copious amounts of water for at least ten minutes.
  • You might have to step into the shower fully clothed in order to cleanse your eye quickly.
  • If the substance is merely an irritant, contact your eye doctor to arrange a same-day appointment. If the substance has a strong pH or you are uncertain, contact your eye doctor to arrange emergency care at their office or an emergency room. For the most targeted treatment, bring the chemical with you.
  • If possible, continue flushing the eye until you arrive at the doctor’s office or emergency room.

Chemical burns can be very serious and should be treated immediately. Many Optometrists and ophthalmologists are equipped to deal with an eye emergency in Edmonton, and may be as effective as emergency room personnel in dealing with eye injuries of all types.

Important Information Regarding Eye Emergencies

What are some safety precautions for eye injuries?

Wear safety googles or glasses in all situations where something can come in contact with the eye….a common example is yard work. We often see patients who have scratched their eyes on branches and twigs while doing back yard maintenance.

My eye is bright red, sore, and sensitive to light...

Although only a complete examination by an optometrist, ophthalmologist or attending emergency physician can determine the cause it could be a corneal abrasion which is a common eye injury. It can turn into an infection so it is important not to try over the counter remedies without consulting with an eye doctor.

Next Steps

Treat Eye Emergencies Immediately at Our Optometry Clinic

There are several other types of eye emergencies, including trauma to the eye. The first step is always to assess the emergency and seek immediate medical assistance from your current optometrist, ophthalmologist or local walk-in emergency clinic.