Every day, we unknowingly expose our eyes to dangerous situations. When things go well, we don’t even realise our vision was in peril. When things go badly, we may only have half a second to make a sight-saving decision. In those cases, it’s important to know what to do and when to get help.
Most eye emergencies are the result of an accident. If your eyes have come into contact with chemicals, metal shavings, or anything else that’s causing you eye pain or discomfort, you should seek medical attention.
But sometimes, eye emergencies seem to come out of the blue, without pain. If you start seeing flashing lights or a sudden increase in eye floaters, you need to see a doctor immediately. You also probably need medical care if you suddenly lose vision in one or both eyes. As a general rule, any time you experience sudden changes in your vision, it’s time to get medical attention.
If you’re not sure whether you need emergency eye care or not, we would encourage you to come in anyway. Your eyes are delicate and irreplaceable. Taking any eye injury or vision change seriously could save your eyesight, so err on the side of caution and call us. We always keep emergency appointments open so we can be there for you when you need us.
A scratch on the eyeball (corneal abrasion) can come from anything. Sometimes it’s a relatively small event like an accidental poke to the eye, whereas other times, it’s a scarier situation like an unfortunate run in with a piece of crafting wire. Regardless of the cause, corneal abrasions leave the eye open to infection and require immediate attention. Despite the size, these abrasions usually feel quite big and can cause the patient quite a bit of pain.
Avoid rubbing your eye, as this can irritate the abrasion, and possibly drive whatever caused the abrasion further into your eye. Do not put a contact lens over the damaged eye, as this could introduce bacteria to the cut. Flush the eye out with all-purpose contact solution (not tap water) and proceed to seek medical attention.
We’re all familiar with the sense of having something in our eye that isn’t supposed to be there. Often, this feeling is caused by an eyelash or a rogue speck of dust. But sometimes this foreign body can be much more painful or dangerous.
First of all, avoid rubbing your eye at all costs. This could drive the foreign body further into your eye, causing corneal abrasions. Do not attempt to remove anything from your eye with tweezers, or any other instrument. Tools like this have much more potential to harm than to heal. Instead, flush the affected eye out with all-purpose contact solution (not tap water). If this does not remove the object, seek medical help.
Your retinas are responsible for sending all the images you see to the brain. Despite the importance of its role, the retina really only has a tenuous hold on the optic nerve. As a result, a hard bump on the head could cause your retinas to detach.
When the retina begins to tear or detach, the patient usually sees a sudden increase of floaters, accompanied by bright flashes of light and the appearance of a black curtain descending over the affected eye. If this occurs, you must seek medical attention immediately! Retinas can be reattached, but it must be done quickly to prevent permanent vision loss.
Since the eyes are largely comprised of mucous membranes, they are easily compromised by chemicals. If any chemical (including common chemicals like cleaning fluid) makes contact with your eye, you must rinse it immediately! Using cool water from an eyewash station, a sink, or a shower, rinse your eye thoroughly. Avoid rubbing it, as this could spread the chemical within your eye. Although you may start to feel relief after a few moments of rinsing, you must continue to rinse the affected eye for at least 15 minutes to ensure the chemical is completely gone. Once you’ve rinsed the eye, you should seek medical help.
Most eye injuries are preventable. We carry a variety of sport, safety, and speciality eyewear to protect your vision at work and play.
Feeding Your Vision: How Nutrition Impacts Your Eyesight
If the human body is a machine, food is the fuel. Every part of the body requires fuel to function, and just like a machine, some fuels provide better performance than others.
Just like your muscles require protein, your bones require calcium, and your blood requires iron; your eyes require certain nutrients to perform well and stay healthy. Eating a balanced diet can help prevent eye disease and protect your gift of sight.
When you’re planning your meals, you don’t just have to focus on nourishing your eyes; you have a whole body to feed! Sometimes it can be hard to give your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs just through three square meals. That’s why you may choose to take vitamin supplements as well. There are actually supplements that are specifically formulated to promote eye health. Ask your pharmacist to help you find vitamins to strengthen and nourish your eyes!
Eating a balanced diet goes a long way to keeping your eyes strong, but it’s also important to exercise to keep your eyes working the way they should. Obesity and diabetes are contributing factors to a number of eye diseases, so a good exercise routine is just another step you can take to strengthen your eyes.
Smoking also increases the risk of many eye conditions like cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. By quitting smoking, you’re granting your eyes and the rest of your body a longer, happier life.
Even those of us with no interest in nutrition know a little something about vitamin C; it helps boost your immune system and overall wellness! But did you know that vitamin C can also help prevent the development of cataracts? And the benefits don’t stop there: when combined with other antioxidants, vitamin C may slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration and even help you maintain your visual acuity. Vitamin C is found in leafy greens and lots of delicious fruits!
The world is full of uncharged molecules known as free radicals. These free radicals can affect our eyes, breaking down our vision over time. Researchers believe that vitamin E can be instrumental in protecting our eyes from free radicals and safeguarding our eyesight. You can get your vitamin E from nuts, sweet potatoes, and fortified cereals.
Our culture hates the word “fat”, but not all fat is bad or unhealthy. Some fats are actually an important part of a healthy diet. Researchers say that omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to maintaining good visual development and healthy retinas. You can work omega-3 fatty acids into your diet by adding fish to the menu.
Scientists like to call zinc a “helper molecule”. By bringing vitamin A up from the liver to the retina, it helps in the production of melanin. Melanin is an important pigment that offers protection to the eye. Beans, nuts, and some seafood like crab and lobster make a delicious source of zinc.
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