An eye emergency may be defined as any eye condition requiring prompt medical attention due to a sudden change in ocular health or vision. This post shares five serious eye emergencies.
A Retinal Detachment occurs when the retina pulls away from its supportive tissue. Patients often experience blurred vision, and they may see flashes of light and floaters. Addressing the condition quickly can save vision in the eye.
Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
Similarly, a CRAO or Central Retinal Artery Occlusion must be treated promptly because this blockage of a blood vessel in the eye can cause stroke if a blood clot breaks free and goes to the brain. It is characterized by a sudden painless loss of vision.
Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma
Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma occurs when the drainage apparatus or angle of the eye closes causing a sudden severe increase in eye pressure. Vision loss due to Glaucoma cannot be reversed, so it is incumbent to see an Eye Doctor immediately for symptoms, which include:
- eye pain
- severe headache
- sudden loss of sight
When a sharp object penetrates the eye, the eye loses pressure, and the contents may actually leak out of the eye. This is known as a ruptured globe, and it requires surgical repair.
This discussion would not be complete without the mention of infections such as Orbital Cellutis (an infection around the eye) and Endophthalmitis (an infection within the eye).
Both of these infections may cause pain, redness, tenderness, and swelling.
Other Eye Emergencies
There are many additional eye emergencies, but in general patients should seek immediate attention for eye problems, such as:
- objects in the eye
- chemical exposure
- injuries to the eye or eyelid
- sudden vision loss