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When Should You Visit An Emergency Ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmology refers to the science and surgery of the eye. Emergency ophthalmology is one of the most specialized areas of medicine in terms of both expertise and equipment. Emergency ophthalmologists are experts in treating emergencies that often occur with the eyes, such as a corneal abrasion or foreign object removal from the eye. When you have an eye problem or injury (and your regular physician is unavailable) it’s important to see an emergency ophthalmologist immediately. Here’s what to know about ophthalmologic emergencies and when to make an appointment.

1. When You Experience Vision Loss

All of us are familiar with “just a little dryness in your eyes” or “a scratch on your cornea,” but when does this turn into an eye emergency? Vision loss is the most common cause of emergency ophthalmology, defined as the inability to see out of your eye. This can happen due to a foreign body in your eye, infection, or inflammation of the cornea.

Different mechanisms cause eye problems, such as blocked tear ducts or irritated cornea. In cases when you are experiencing vision loss, it’s extremely important to seek medical help immediately as these problems may progress to permanent blindness without proper treatment.

2. When You Suspect a Retinal Problem

The retina is the vision-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and holds millions of photoreceptor cells. The retina sends images to the brain via the optic nerve. Problems that involve your retina are serious and potentially life-threatening. Eye emergencies caused by a retinal problem include bleeding, infection, tear, or retina detachment, among others.

3. When You Suspect a Foreign Body in the eye

Foreign bodies in the eye can be severe. The foreign body can be anything from a grain of sand to a piece of wood or a small toy. You may not notice something stuck in your eye until you experience pain, bleeding, discharge, or double vision symptoms.

4. When You Have an Unknown Eye Problem

Sometimes symptoms are not noticeable, meaning that you may not know there’s an underlying condition. When this happens, it’s important to talk to your ophthalmologist about your symptoms. If a problem develops and cannot be treated at home, you need to seek emergency medical attention.

5. When You Wear Contact Lenses

When an eye emergency occurs, there’s a potential for severe damage. An individual with a history of contact lens wearing, burning, and itching around their eyes is at a higher risk, as an eye emergency can occur without any warning symptoms. These individuals should follow their doctor’s advice on wearing contact lenses and avoid close contact with pets and children that cause direct eye trauma.

Schedule an Appointment

Dr. Kung’s understanding, knowledge, experience, skills, and approach toward emergency ophthalmology enable him to provide excellent patient care. He is prepared to provide prompt and efficient treatment for his patients. Dr. Kung has extensive experience in emergency ophthalmology and completed an intensive, required three-year residency program. Schedule your consultation with at
Kung Eye Center

Request an Appointment

Please call our New York office at (929) 429-2928 or our New Jersey office at (732) 724-2535 with any questions you may have.