Emergency Eye Care

It's always a good idea to schedule a checkup with your eye doctor once a year, but there are situations in which emergency eye care is critical to maintaining sight. Here are seven situations in which you need to call your eye doctor at Chapel Hill Ophthalmology in Chapel Hill, NC for immediate attention.


Traumatic Eye Injury

You need to call your eye doctor immediately anytime you suffer an accidental injury to your eye. Most accidental injuries to the eyes involve getting something in the eye, but immediate attention is also essential after burns and chemical exposure. 

There are important do's and don'ts after any traumatic eye injury.

  • Never try to remove an object stuck in your eye or eyelid on your own.
  • When your eye has been punctured, do not try to wash it out. 
  • Reduce pain and swelling with a cold compress applied gently over the eye unless you have an object protruding from your eye, but do not let this step delay you getting medical help.

Chemicals in Your Eye

If you get chemicals in your eyes, remove contacts (If you can) and then flush the chemicals out of your eyes with water or, better, saline for 15 minutes. Do not try to neutralize the chemical you got in your eye. Neutralizing a chemical can release heat and damage your eye even more. After this emergency step, get to your eye doctor as quickly as you can.

Particles in Your Eye

If you get a particle in your eye, do not rub it. Try to remove it with water or saline solution, rinsing it away, but do not try to remove it with your fingers or tweezers. if you notice rusty spots on the whites of your eyes a few days after being exposed to metal fragments, see you eye doctor right away.

Noticeable Changes in Your Vision or Severe Eye Pain

Sudden loss of the ability to focus, or floaters in your eyes (especially if they seem to be "raining down"), or seeing flashing lights or spots are all signs that you need to be seen by your ophthalmologist immediately. These kinds of changes can signal stroke, arterial inflammation, or broken blood vessels in your retina due to diabetic retinopathy. Severe eye pain may be a sign that immediate treatment is necessary to save your sight.

Red Eyes Accompanied by Discharge

Nearly all of us have red eyes from time to time. Red eyes accompanied by discharge usually indicates a bacterial or viral infection that requires immediate treatment.

Pupils of Different Sizes

Some people are born with anisocoria, pupils of different sizes. If you were not born with this condition, and you notice that your pupils are of different sizes when you do not expect them to be, you need to be seen by your eye doctor to rule out head trauma, stroke, and other brain conditions.

Bulging Eyes

Eyes can bulge out as a result of injury to blood vessels behind their eyes. Bulging eyes can be caused by an infection that not only threatens sight but can also spread to your brain. Your eye doctor needs to rule out these conditions along with overactive thyroid to make sure you do not need immediate treatment.

In addition to these seven symptoms, Chapel Hill Ophthalmology recommends that you call us if you experience:

  • Double vision.
  • Burning or stinging.
  • Eyes that are not moving in sync with each other.
  • Blood in the whites of your eyes.
  • Double vision.
  • Severe itching.
  • New-onset headaches.

Chapel Hill Ophthalmology Offers Emergency Eye Care

Chapel Hill Ophthalmology is here to help. When you need emergency eye care, call us at (919) 942-8701. The offices of Chapel Hill Ophthalmology are located at 110 Conner Drive, Suite 2, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.


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Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Over the years, Dr. Wood and the whole staff of Wood Wizards have demonstrated a high caliber of professional acumen and kindness. And now, all these years later, cataract surgery has gone brilliantly well in the hands of this fine group. Thank you all."
    E.C. April 2018
  • "Great service and caring, professional doctors who are focused on your issue rather than pushing product. My go to for eye-care needs in Chapel Hill."
    Scott L. - 05/2016