There are certain eye injuries and symptoms that warrant an immediate visit to an ophthalmologist. By scheduling an emergency eye exam, patients have the best chance of preventing further damage and preserving their vision. At Monterey County Eye Associates, we offer emergency eye care services to identify and treat eye conditions and injuries. Whether you suffered an injury, appear to have developed an infection, or exhibit certain dangerous symptoms, we can schedule an emergency appointment so one of our doctors can treat your vision condition.
When Should You Schedule an Emergency Eye Exam?
We encourage our patients to contact our office as soon as possible when:
- An eye injury was sustained: If a serious eye injury occurs, such as a penetrating eye injury, patients should immediately go to the emergency room at a local hospital. However, in cases of less severe injury, an eye exam can be scheduled at our practice. Some of the more common types of injury that we treat include corneal abrasions and tears. Any scratches to the eye should be checked out by a doctor, as corneal abrasions can make the patient more prone to infection.
- The signs of an eye infection have developed: If a patient suddenly develops red, itchy, swollen, crusty, or watery eyes, an eye exam should be scheduled as soon as possible. An infection such as pink eye may have developed. In these cases, our doctors can prescribe antibiotics or other appropriate therapy to treat the infection.
- The patient experiences concerning symptoms: Certain symptoms are considered more dangerous than others. For example, the appearance of flashes (spontaneous bright spots in the field of vision) and floaters (dark spots that sporadically appear in the field of vision) are signs of retinal detachment, a serious condition that should be diagnosed in a timely manner. Without diagnosis, retinal detachment can result in permanent vision loss.
Maintaining Good Eye Health
In addition to scheduling eye exams at the first signs of infection or disease, patients should schedule regular exams so our doctors can monitor the health of their vision. Patients age 18 to 60 should undergo an eye exam every two years. Those 61 years of age and older should undergo an eye exam every year.
Routine eye exams can detect eye conditions and diseases before they cause any symptoms. The early detection of certain eye problems can prevent vision loss and preserve ocular health for as long as possible. Especially among older patients, eye exams can detect:
- Glaucoma: Without intervention, glaucoma can result in blindness.
- Cataracts: As the lens of the eye becomes more clouded, patients have more difficulty seeing clearly.
- Macular degeneration: As this condition progresses, it can cause vision loss at the center of the field of vision.
Schedule an Emergency Eye Exam
If you have sustained an eye injury, developed an infection, or suddenly notice flashes and floaters, contact Monterey County Eye Associates to schedule an emergency eye exam with one of our doctors. If your condition is serious, visit the nearest emergency room for treatment.