Calgary / (403) 686-4990

Didsbury / (403) 335-2020

Eye Emergency Services

Preventing and Treating Eye Emergencies

Types of Eye Emergencies

For most people, healthy eyes are essential for navigating the world. However, your eyes are vulnerable to damage from a number of sources and your vision can be easily compromised.

Eye emergencies include scratches, cuts, trauma, abrasions, and UV, heat or chemical burns. Eye tissue is delicate and the thin membranes of the eye make it especially susceptible to infection, which can further weaken a damaged eye.

If you experience an eye emergency, it is essential that you seek immediate medical assistance. If your family Optometrist is unavailable, go directly to a walk-in emergency facility for care.

Cuts and Abrasions

If you have received a superficial scratch on the surface of your eye, you may feel pain, grittiness, tearing, or sensitivity to light.

If the irritant is minor, such as a bit of dust or sand, you may be able to blink the irritant away. Do not attempt to remove an irritant with your finger, as this can cause additional damage.

If you are unable to remove the foreign object or your eye is still sore after the irritant has been removed, see your Optometrist, who can assess the damage and treat for injury and potential infection.

How to Treat Chemical Burns

Many workplaces offer eye-washing stations for employees who may come into contact with potentially harmful chemicals. If your eye is exposed to a dangerous chemical and no station is available, take the following measures:

  • Turn your head to the side and hold the eyelid open. Cool, fresh, clean water over the eye to flush out chemicals or irritants.
  • Irrigate the injured eye for at least ten minutes with copious amounts of water.
  • If necessary, step into the shower fully clothed and use the water from the showerhead to flush the eye.
  • If you have come into contact with an irritant with a neutral pH, contact your eye doctor and arrange a same-day appointment to treat irritation and prevent infection.

    If the agent has a strong pH, contact your Optometrist for emergency care or go to an emergency medical facility. If you are uncertain, treat the exposure as an emergency. Bring the chemical with you for the most targeted treatment.

Chemical burns are serious and can cause lasting damage. Our Optometrists are equipped to deal with eye emergencies in the clinic as well as the emergency room.

Important Information About Eye Emergency Services:

How Can I Protect My Eyes?

The best way to keep your eyes healthy and safe is to prevent eye emergencies before they occur. Wear safety goggles or glasses in any situation where your eyes could come into contact with a chemical or foreign object, including cleaning, yard work and home repair.

When Should I See My Optometrist?

If your eyes are sore, red or sensitive to light, you may have an eye injury. Blurred vision and tearing are also signs of a problem.

Only a thorough examination by an eye care specialist can verify the source of your discomfort. Regardless of the source, if left untreated an eye injury can lead to infection, inflammation, cataracts, glaucoma and even vision loss.

Play it safe and if you suspect an injury, book an appointment as soon as possible.

Chemical Injuries

Many people work with chemicals at work or at home. If a cleaning product, gardening chemical, industrial chemical or battery acid gets into your eye, it can burn on contact.

If this occurs, flush the eye immediately, then go directly to your Optometrist or emergency care facility.

Some eye burns occur even when there has been no direct contact. Chemical particles can cling to hands or be blown into the eye, causing a chemical injury.

If you are experiencing any of the following, you may have a chemical burn:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Tearing
  • Blurred Vision
  • Eyelid Swelling
  • Eyelid Twitching
  • Feeling of Something in the Eye

If you suspect a chemical burn, see an Optometrist or go to an urgent care facility as soon as possible.

Some burns cause permanent damage, but many can be treated. Acid burns must be treated quickly, but often heal well. However, some damage the ocular surface and can even cause blindness.

Alkaline products like lime, lye, drain cleaners and sodium hydroxide can penetrate the surface of the eye and cause damage to the cornea and lens.

Some substances have a neutral pH and cause irritation but no permanent damage. However, these should also be treated, as abrasions can lead to infection.

Our Location

Calgary

Eye Effects
#108 - 555 Strathcona Blvd. SW
Calgary, AB, T3H 2Z9
T- (403) 686-4990

Hours

Monday: 9am – 6pm
Tuesday: 9am – 8pm
Wednesday: 9am – 8pm
Thursday: 9am – 8pm
Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Sunday: Closed

Didsbury

Forsight Vision Centre
2032 17th Avenue
Didsbury, AB, T0M 0W0
T- (403) 335-2020

Hours

Monday: 9am - 1pm
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 1pm
Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Our Services

Adult Eye Exams

Children's Eye Exam

Seniors Eye Exam

Dry Eye Exam & Treatment

Adult Eye Exams Children's Eye Exam Seniors Eye Exam Dry Eye Exam & Treatment

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