Eye emergencies range from infections to trauma, and, if left untreated, can lead to visual loss or other health problems. An examination by a non-ophthalmologist emergency room physician does not replace a complete evaluation by a board-certified ophthalmologist with proper diagnostic equipment. As a general rule, if ocular symptoms are severe in nature or persist, you should contact Dr. Giulio Diamante & Associates immediately. Some particular worrisome symptoms are: sudden visual loss or change, severe eye pain, eye trauma and severe eyelid swelling or inability to open the eye.
Eye trauma can include scratches, foreign objects in the eye, burns, chemical injuries, blunt trauma and lacerating injuries.
- Blunt trauma – Direct blunt trauma will usually cause a black eye and bleeding under the skin. Some skull fractures can also cause bruising even without direct injury to the eyes. Serious damage to the eye may result from the pressure of a swollen face or eyelid. Blunt trauma may also cause a hyphema, which is when a blood vessel ruptures, resulting in bleeding in the front of the eye. Inflammation within the eye and retinal trauma can also occur with a direct impact to the eye.
- Chemical injuries – Chemical injuries of the eye may be caused by exposure to chemicals due to work-related accidents or common household cleaning solutions, garden chemicals or solvents. Fumes and aerosols may also cause chemical burns to the eye. Exposure to some alkaline substances – such as commercial drain cleaners, lime, lye, sodium hydroxide and chemicals used in refrigeration equipment – can cause permanent corneal damage that requires prompt treatment. Immediate, proper eye irrigation is the first line of treatment.
- Foreign body injuries – Exposure of foreign bodies to the eye can cause corneal injuries. Sand and fine debris can usually embed in the ocular surface or possibly into the eye. Persistent pain and redness are signs that treatment will be necessary. An intraocular foreign body can lead to complete visual loss. Bits of metal thrown at high speeds by machining, grinding or hammering carry the highest risk of serious damage.
- Ruptured globe, lacerating eye injuries – Dr. Diamante is an expert at treating complex lacerating eye injuries. He is well-versed in all facets of eye trauma and teaches other ophthalmologists the latest surgical techniques in eye trauma.
To learn how a world-class team can deliver the best results in emergency eyecare, request an appointment online or call the most trusted name in eyecare – Giulio Diamante, MD & Associates – at 401.521.3606.