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Your eyes are one of the most vital organs in your body, which is why it is important to take care of then. Yes accidents happen, but do you know when you should see an eye doctor and when you should receive emergency care?

Pink Eye:

Pink eye is an inflammation of the thin, clear tissue located on the inside of the eye lid and what is known as the white part of the eyeball.  It is caused by viruses, bacteria or allergens which makes it very easy to spread. Symptoms include:

  • Redness 
  • Swelling
  • Eye discharge
  • Burning or irritation 

Most cases of pink eye clear up without treatment.  If you are experiencing pain, sensitivity to light or blurred vision, you should see an eye doctor. 

Corneal Abrasions:

A scratched eye is often caused by being poked in the eye or rubbing when a foreign object such as dust or sand is present. Common symptoms include:

  • Discomfort
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light.

For most corneal abrasions, you should see an eye doctor right away to prevent the scratch from worsening or developing an infection.  It is important to keep the eye closed or loosely place an eye shield over the eye.  While an eye patch may seem like a good idea, it can cause bacteria to grow, which can lead to an infection. 

Foreign Objects In The Eye:

Whether its lead from a pencil, metal shards, a fish hook, you might encounter a foreign object penetrating your eye.  It is important that you do not try to remove the object yourself.  You could cause more injury, including blindness or even loss of an eye.  You should place an eye shield loosely over the object and head straight to the emergency room.

Chemical Exposure:

Chemical exposures are often caused by a splash or by rubbing your eyes with traces of chemicals on your hand. If your eyes are exposed to chemicals, put your head under a steady stream of warm water for 15 minutes and then head to the emergency room for a more throughout rinse. You should make an appointment with your eye doctor to follow up and assess if there is any permanent damage.