Ocular Emergencies


     As much as we hate to admit it accidents in the workplace or at home do happen. Involvement of the eyes in any of these accidents rightly causes concern with vision loss. At Vespa Vision Centre we are fully equipped to handle the care of your eyes if one of these unfortunate events were to take place. In some cases referral to a specialist is warranted and our office is sure to get you in the hands of the correct specialist to handle your eyes.


     Below you may find some examples of accidents that warrant a visit to your optometrist!



Corneal Abrasion


A corneal abrasion usually results from an object or fingernail scratching the most superficial layer of the cornea off. This results in a painful, red eye, and can sometimes be accompanied with reduced vision (depending on the location of the abrasion). Luckily, they tend to heal quite quickly, but it is always recommended to see your optometrist to ensure that you are not at risk for a corneal infection. Infection can cause irreversible vision loss if not treated in a timely manner. Common management includes artificial tears to serve as a lubricant and a bandage contact lens to reduce friction on the surface of the cornea.

                                                                  Corneal Foreign Body


     A corneal foreign body can be comprised of any material, although the most commonly encountered are steel fragments while grinding. As the name suggests, a piece of foreign debris has entered the eye and is causing irritation, redness, and pain. If the debris was traveling at a higher velocity, it may become embedded superficially in the cornea, and will have to be removed with care by an optometrist. If ignored, a steel foreign body may even rust in the cornea and can lead to infection, which is sight threatening.  Common types of debris include steel, wood, vegetative matter, and plastic. The photo shown depicts a steel foreign body embedded in the cornea which will have to be removed carefully under use of microscope.



     Conjunctivitis refers to an infection or inflammation of the tissues surrounding the cornea and eye ball. An infection of the cornea and conjunctiva would be called keratoconjunctivitis. There are two main kinds of conjunctivitis, viral and bacterial. The first presents with mild symptoms early on, but can develop into a red, painful eye with a swollen appearance. Bacterial infections are more rare, and are usually more acute in nature. They also have a very characteristic discharge of pus, whereas a viral infection produces a clear, mucousy discharge. Viral infections are self limiting and typically resolve on their own, although some viral strains can cause more severe symptoms and these symptoms may need to be managed. Bacterial infections are always treated with ophthalmic antibiotics.


     Not all types of conjunctivitis are infectious, other categories involve allergic conjunctivitis, toxic exposure, contact lens related etc. These are usually handled with drops to calm the inflammation down as opposed to the antibiotics needed in a bacterial conjunctivitis.

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