Sight is among our most precious senses, yet our eyes are quite fragile. An eye emergency can occur at any time, and we want you to be confident knowing that we will be there for you no matter when you need us. One of the keys to dealing with an ocular emergency is knowing when you should seek care immediately or when it can wait until a more convenient time. Our emergency number 602-730-4393 should be used after regular office hours.
Here are a list of common eye emergencies and what you should do:
Contact lens emergencies - Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction and serious problems are rare. If your eye becomes painful and/or sensitive to light when wearing lenses, discontinue wear immediately. If the pain continues or worsens, you should be examined as soon as possible. Try to bring your lenses and any cases and lens care products with you when you are seen.
Infection and pink eye - Most eye infections are minor and self-limiting. They typically involve the conjunctiva (what appears to be the “white of the eye”) and are accompanied by redness and discharge. Often termed "pink eye", minor infection is not generally considered an emergency. We use AdenoPlus™ to determine if your condition is contagious. Infections of the cornea (what appears to be the colored part of the eye) are far more serious and can result in loss of vision or severe damage to the eye. Infection of the cornea is usually accompanied by pain and light sensitivity which worsens quickly. Corneal infection is a true emergency and treatment must be initiated as soon as possible.
Flashes and floaters - An occasional flash of light in the visual periphery may not be significant, but repeated flashing, especially after being hit in the eye may be a sign of a of a retinal tear or detachment. Likewise, occasional floaters which appear like small dust particles in the visual field are not generally worrisome. However a sudden appearance of many floaters may herald something more serious like a vitreous (gel in the back of the eye) detachment or retinal tear. Flashes, floaters and any changes to the visual field should be investigated.
Foreign objects - getting an eyelash or a piece of grit in the eye can be painful, but is rarely serious. However, a metallic foreign body - especially one that was propelled by metal to metal contact or a high powered tool can be extremely serious. Superficial foreign bodies that can’t be removed easily or foreign bodies that are accompanied by bleeding or fluid leaking from the eye, severe pain or loss of vision should be seen immediately.
Trauma to the eye - can range from a minor scratch to serious or even catastrophic damage. Eye injuries that cause loss of vision, double vision, severe pain, or bleeding in or from the eye is an emergency that requires immediate attention. Chemical splashes to the eye should be rinsed under clear running water as soon as possible. If the chemical injury was caused by a caustic substance like lye or acid, you require emergency treatment and should be seen as soon as possible.
Loss of Vision - a sudden loss of vision either in the center of the visual field or in the periphery should be evaluated as soon as possible regardless of cause.
We provide 24/7 emergency eyecare services. Please call 602-730-4393 for additional instructions.
NOTE: losing or breaking eyeglasses or running out of contact lenses may seem like an emergency, but please understand, we are unable to assist with non-medical eye emergencies after normal office hours. We appreciate your understanding. Please know that if you have a medical eye emergency that affects your sight or health, we are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
* Additional fees apply for after-hours and weekend emergency services
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