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Emergencies

Save yourself an office visit. Learn to care for your own eyes. Here are some common eye problems, and how to care for them.

 

  1. Subconjunctival hemorrhage. This hemorrhage on the sclera (white) of your eye looks awful, but is a benign condition that occurs when a vessel on the surface of your eye ruptures. This usually happens at night, and is more likely to occur if you take aspirin. It may look like it's expanding for a day or two, but it's not continuing to bleed. It's just spreading, like a drop of oil on water.

    It takes two or three weeks to go away, and nothing can or need be done for it.

  2. Foreign bodies. It's possible to get foreign material stuck on the surface of your eyes (cornea), or under the lid. To remove foreign material from under the lid, grasp the lashes of the upper lid and pull the upper lid down over the lower lid. Release the lashes, and let the back side of the upper lid scrape on the lashes of the lower lid. You may need to do this a couple of times, but this maneuver will usually remove any material stuck under the upper lid.

    However, you may have still have a corneal abrasion. A scratch on your cornea should begin to heal in three or four hours, an be completely healed in 12 hours. If your eye isn't getting better in that time, you probably have a foreign body stuck on the cornea or under the lid. Please call our office so we can take it out. Remember, it's much better to see us than to go to the Emergency Room. Get the job done right the first time . . . see a specialist.

  3. Allergic conjunctivitis shows up as itchy, red, watery eyes. An excellent drop, Zaditor, is very effective at treating this problem. This is available without a prescription, and works as well as many prescription drops. Avoid drops like Visine, Clear Eyes, and Murine. These may take the read out at first, but may cause a rebound vasoconjestion which makes your eyes redder than ever.
  4. Flashes and floaters A common complaint is floaters in front of our vision. These floaters are caused by pieces of tissue in the gel of the inside of the eye, called the Vitreous gel. This tissue has always been there, but as time goes on the vitreous shifts position, and the tissue now casts a shadow on the retina. This is why the floaters are seen more when looking at evenly illuminated subject material, like the sky or a white wall.

    They are nothing to worry about UNLESS they suddenly increase in number, follow a bright flash of light, or are in all four quadrants of your vision. This may be caused by a retinal tear. If you experience any of these danger signs, you should have a careful retinal examination.