Eye emergencies

Published on
March 10, 2022


Having an emergency involving your eyes can result from a variety of causes, so it's important to know what to do and what not to do. Most eye emergencies do not cause permanent damage, however prompt care is important to prevent complications. 


Following are the most common eye emergencies:

  • A foreign body in your eye (something stuck in your eye)
  • Chemical burn or chemical splash into your eye
  • Scratch on your cornea/eye 
  • You may start to experience a new onset of flashes and floaters 
  • Red, painful and itchy eyes
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Deep cut in the eye (please visit an emergency room right away) 
  • Blood in the white part of the eye
  • One eye is sticking out or bulging


Whenever you have any type of eye emergency, it is extremely important that you see your eye doctor right away so that they can properly diagnose your condition and treat you accordingly. During office hours please call our office to get instructions on what to do or to schedule an emergency eye exam in our office on the Upper East Side, Manhattan.

Learn more about eye emergencies by visiting our page https://amplifyeyecare-manhattan.com/ocular-disease/eye-emergencies/ 


What not to do during an eye emergency?

In the event of an eye emergency, do not attempt to treat it yourself. You must consult a professional for an eye emergency since your eye is fragile, and further harm can occur if not treated properly.

Please refrain from:

  • Rubbing your eyes
  • Trying to apply ointments, eye drops or medication to your eyes
  • Removing a foreign body from your eyes
  • Using tweezers or any other tools near your eyes


What should be done during an eye emergency?

The following are general guidelines, however we recommend that you call our office at 212-752-6930 to get specific information regarding your eye emergency. 


Chemical splash into your eye: If you have a chemical splash in your eye, you should wash your hands, remove your contact lenses, because your contact lenses may absorb the chemical, which may then stay on your eye, causing serious damage to your eyes. Additionally, it's important to wash your contact lenses with an eyewash. If you can't find an eyewash, then you can wash them under the sink with lukewarm water. When you flush it out, you should do it in such a way that it does not move from one eye to the other, and that it goes away from you. Nonetheless, you should still have your eye doctor examine your eyes to make sure that nothing has happened to your cornea or the front part of your eye. Certain chemicals are more likely to cause long term damage, please call our office after rinsing out your eye at 212-752-6930 for specific instructions. 

Learn more about chemical splashes in the eye at https://amplifyeyecare-manhattan.com/ocular-disease/chemical-spills/ 


Foreign body in the eye: If you have a foreign object in your eye, it's vital that you do not rub your eyes, as this will cause the object to go deeper into the eye, scratch the eye and worsen the situation. It can affect your vision and make it even more difficult to remove that foreign body. 


Eye floaters and flashes:  A sudden development of floaters and flashes can indicate a problem in the back of your eye. Therefore, it's necessary for your eye doctor to dilate your eyes and ensure there are no holes, tears, attachments. In the event there are any of those issues, you might need to be referred to a  retina specialist.

Learn more about floaters at https://amplifyeyecare-manhattan.com/ocular-disease/flashes-and-floaters/ 


Double vision: It's also very concerning when you suddenly develop double vision. An eye doctor will check to see if all of your cranial nerves are functioning properly. If necessary, they may also refer you out to get an MRI or various scans or bloodwork to determine the cause of your double vision.


Scratched Eye One of the most common eye emergencies that we treat is a scratched cornea. While normally a scratch to the eye does not lead to long term damage, we recommend that you visit us for an emergency eye exam in order to prevent scarring or infection. 



It is so important to see your eye doctor right away if you are dealing with any kind of eye emergency so they can properly diagnose your condition and treat it.If the office is closed and you are concerned about your eye emergency please visit an urgent care or emergency room. If the office is open we recommend visiting our office over an emergency room as we have more equipment and experience with eye emergencies. To schedule an emergency appointment call us at 212-752-6930

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