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Eye Emergencies

When to Seek Medical Care in Calgary, AB

In most cases, if you have symptoms of pain, redness or sudden changes in your vision you should seek medical care with an eye doctor.

In general, if you are not sure if you have a serious eye injury, call your eye doctor for advice.  Alberta Healthcare covers for medically necessary visits to an optometrist's office.

Calling your optometrist may be helpful in the following circumstances:

Chemical exposures: If you are not sure if the exposure is potentially serious, rinse your eyes to wash out any chemicals that you may have come into contact with.  Call our office help you decide whether or not you should be seen immediately.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage: often this presents as a deep red on the whites of your eyes due to broken blood vessel.  If you are not sure that you have subconjunctival hemorrhage, your eye doctor may be able to help with the diagnosis. This condition does not require immediate medical attention.
Pain or decreased vision after an eye injury can be warning signs that require prompt medical attention. Minor injuries can be triaged to determine urgency, if you are unsure you can call our office with questions.

The following conditions should be seen promptly by an eye doctor:

Chemical exposures: If the substance was known to be caustic, immediate medical evaluation is needed, regardless of symptoms. Acids and alkalis are the worst and require immediate attention. If the substance is not dangerous, such as soap or suntan lotion, a visit to the emergency department is not necessary, but a visit to the eye doctor's office may be helpful to alleviate any remaining symptoms. When in doubt, seek medical attention.

Lacerations: Cuts that affect the eyelid margins (where the eyelashes are) or the eyeball itself need immediate medical attention. Foreign bodies that are not removed with gentle washing should be evaluated by an eye doctor.

Eye Injuries: injuries can range in severity and require specific management depending on the structures affected.  Prompt evaluation by an eye doctor is best to ensure longterm eye health and help with relief of any eye pain.

Retinal detachment:  often this can present as a visual disturbance that appears like flashes or sparks accompanied by a sudden increase in a number of floaters or black dots.  Evaluation by an eye doctor is necessary to determine the severity of the condition and the best approach for treatment.  Our optometrists work in conjunction with retinal specialists on-call to ensure patients are directed approprately through our healthcare system and able to access care in an expedited fashion.

Your Calgary Alberta eye doctor will check your eyes for signs of glaucoma as part of your comprehensive eye exam.