Between playing sports, working around various outdoor materials, or just going about your daily life, there is a chance you could suffer from an eye injury or eye infection. The different injuries that can happen to your eyes over time or the infections you gather can cause problems that most general practitioners do not know about, allowing them to quickly dismiss you and your eye.
Instead of heading to the ER or to an urgent care clinic when you sustain an injury or develop an eye infection, schedule an appointment with your optometrist!
When it comes to eye infections and injuries, your optometrist is more qualified than a general practitioner or emergency room doctor to diagnose and treat your urgent eye health issue. Your optometrist will have a thorough understanding of how your eye works, the different nerves that are inside your eye, and what needs to be done in order to get your eye healthy again.
Common Eye Injuries
While we try to take care of our eyes and keep them out of harm's way, there are some common eye injuries that happen to many of us and require you to get the assistance you need in order to beat them.
Sometimes, getting something in your eye can require medical attention. Examples of how these injuries can happen are someone throwing something at your face, or working in the yard with blowing debris that goes into your eyes. If the object is sharp, it needs to be removed with the help of an optometrist.
One of the major reasons we must wash our hands regularly is to keep from spreading foreign chemicals into our eyes. Your eyes are fragile and have sensitive to chemicals when they are just nearby if you accidentally wipe your eyes with the chemical. You need to see an optometrist right away if you think you have wiped a chemical into your eye. Almost always you will start to get a burning sensation of pain in your eyes and there is no immediate relief.
Have you scratched your eye before? If you accidentally stick your fingernail in your eye or get scratched unwillingly on the field, then you have a corneal abrasion. Getting sand, dirt, or even dust in your eyes while playing sports can cause this eye injury. You will need to get this under control quickly, because if bacteria gets into the open scratch on your cornea, then you will get an unwanted eye infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Eye Injuries
While there are a few different eye injuries out there, most of them have similar symptoms that let you know something is wrong, and you need to visit your optometrist for treatment.
- Blurred Vision
- Red and Swelling
- Change in Pupil Shape
No matter what type of injury you are suffering from, there will always be some pain. While the pain may not be unbearable, if it lasts for more than a few days, then it is time to have it looked at. With pain comes other symptoms like blurred vision and redness around the eyes. These are all big indicators that something is not right and it's time to see your optometrist.
Common Eye Infections
If you have red, swollen eyes from an eye infection, then there are a few things that can cause them. Infection is almost always caused by some type of bacteria getting into an open wound, but there are a few rare infections that are fungal in origin. Some infections are contagious, so you should take extra care to stop the spread of the infection.
While some will go away without treatment, there are some infections that linger and start to impact your eye and everything around it. These need to be treated with medication to remove the infection before any permanent damage sets in. Let's look at two of the most common eye infections.
Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as "pink eye", is one of the most common eye infections. It is an infection of the conjunctiva or the white part of your eye. This membrane can become irritated by either a bacterial infection, a virus, or allergies and is extremely contagious. Pink eye can be spread for weeks after the infection starts.
A sty is a small pimple-like bump caused by a bacterial blockage in the oil glands on the outer edges of your eyelid. These glands can get clogged with dead skin, oils, and other matter and allow bacteria to overgrow in your gland. A sty can be easily treated at home with a warm cloth, mild soap, and OTC pain relievers for the pain and should disappear in 7-10 days. If the pain lasts, or the sty does not go away on its own, consult with your optometrist for further treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Eye Infections
You may see some similar symptoms of an eye infection that you do with an eye injury. Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Blurred Vision
- Redness of the eye, or eyelid
- Swelling around the eye, or eyelid
- Discharge or excess tearing
- Sensation of something foreign in the eye
Diagnosis & Treatment of Eye Infections and Injury
State-of-the-art microscopes allow us to examine the front surface of the eye and facial areas around the eye for infection or injury. After assessing the extent of the injury or infection, we will develop a treatment plan. Treatment may include medications and supportive care. Follow-up visits to monitor your recovery will be scheduled as needed. We will always make sure you understand your plan and have the resources you need for any home care routines and as well as any in-office follow-up required.
Eye Emergencies in Boise, Idaho
Our office provides urgent care services for eye infections and eye injuries. If you sustain an eye injury or think you have an infection, rather than going to an emergency room where you will have a long wait and a huge bill, call Gem State Eyecare instead. During regular office hours, please call 208-322-8439 and our team will work with you to get you in as soon as possible.