Eye emergencies are scary, more so, if they occur in an infant or a child. In such a case, remember to reassure your kid and yourself. Do not panic and talk to an optometrist who can guide you to recovery. It is good for us to be aware of the common eye emergencies in kids, so we can talk to the eye doctor and take timely action.
Some eye emergencies may be the result of an eye disease and may require surgical intervention.
- Retinopathy of prematurity: It can occur in premature babies. It causes an abnormal random growth of blood vessels in the eye, which may lead to blindness. It has no symptoms and can be detected during eye exams.
- Retinoblastoma: This can occur in the first three years of life. Symptoms include whiteness in the pupil and loss of vision.
- Infantile cataracts: This can happen in newborns.
- Congenital glaucoma: This is a genetic condition that is rare.
- Other genetic eye diseases
It is important to go for regular eye check-ups so that problems are detected at an early stage.
Eye Injuries in Las Vegas
In case of an eye injury, it is important to take action quickly to prevent complications and blindness. For eye discomfort due to regular things like dirt, you can take care of it at home. However, for more serious injury, or, if in any doubt, call your optometrist.
Small Eye Irritants
If it is a common irritant like sand or dirt, or small foreign objects on the surface of the eye or eyelids, take the following steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Take steps to prevent your child from rubbing the eyes. (in case of infants, swaddle them.)
- Examine the eye and try to locate the object
- Get your child to lean over a sink and take someone’s help if needed, to keep the eyes wide open.
- Flush the eye with lukewarm water using a faucet or a cup. Wash for 15 minutes, checking regularly in intervals of 5 minutes.
If, after flushing, the object is not removed, or if irritation persists, get help from your Las Vegas eye doctor.
Foreign Bodies Embedded in the Eyes
In this case, do not try to treat at home. Call for immediate emergency medical assistance. Cover the eye with a clean paper cup or similar object and tape in place to prevent any pressure on the eye. Reassure your child and yourself.
In case of exposure to chemicals, immediately flush the eyes with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes. Go for emergency assistance. You may even call your local poison control center for suggestions. Keep the name of the chemical handy if you know it.
Blunt Injuries and Black Eyes
Though these are most commonly minor issues, it is best to be doubly safe and have a check-up to rule out any serious issues.Take the following steps to soothe a black eye:
- Apply cold compress on and off - for 10 minutes at a time and in intervals of 15 minutes.
- After applying the cold compress for a day or two, do the same with a warm compress.
- Give acetaminophen for pain instead of ibuprofen(which may increase bleeding).
- Use pillows to let the child sleep on the side other than that of the injury.
Take immediate medical help if there is:
- Increase in the redness of the eye
- Drainage from the eye
- Persistent eye pain
- Vision changes
- Prominent abnormality in the eyeball
- Bleeding in the white of the eye
For all eye emergencies in the Las Vegas area, we recommend calling our office 702-500-0525 to get specific advice about your situation.