Eye Emergencies

Eye Emergencies

Our optometrists are trained in the treatment of eye disease and ocular emergencies, and understand that eye emergencies do not always occur during regular business hours.

About Us

Our eyes are as vulnerable as any other part of our body, and this makes them just as likely to be affected by an accident, injury or sudden problem that requires emergency professional attention. Since we are completely reliant on our eyes for sight, it is essential that if you experience an issue that affects them that you think could have even the slightest impact on your ability to see clearly, you speak to our emergency eye care team as soon as possible. We will be able to assess your situation over the phone to determine whether you need to be seen right away, or if not, we can book you the next available regular appointment with our experienced optometric doctors.


Causes of Eye Injuries


Although eye traumas and problems can happen at any time, there are certain activities and occupations that can make them more likely. These include people who participate in sports, particularly those which involve flying objects, such as tennis balls or ice hockey pucks and people who work in the following occupations:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Carpentry
  • Auto-repair
  • Medical care
  • Maintenance
  • Welding
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical work


Studies estimate that as many as 2000 people every day visit their eye doctor due to sustaining an eye injury at work.


Common Types of Eye Emergencies

Although our experienced team can assist with any type of eye emergency, there are some types of eye emergencies that we deal with more often than others. These include the following:

Foreign object lodged in the eye

Getting a bit of sand or grit in your eyes is fairly normal, and an eyebath should help you rinse the debris out. However, sometimes there can be something bigger or more significant lodged in the eyes and, if treatment isn’t sought, it could have a permanent effect on your eyesight. As tempting as it is, don’t rub your eye or try and remove an object that is sticking out from it. Cover it with an eye shield, or if you don’t have one, a paper cup makes a great alternative. Then contact our offices as soon as you can.


Chemical burns

Chemical burns are a surprisingly common occurrence. Whether by accidental transfer from hands to the eyes or sprayed into the face such as by having the nozzle facing the wrong way on a bottle of a cleaning product, there are many ways in which you can get a chemical substance into your eyes. Unfortunately, chemical burns have the ability to cause irreversible damage to our eyesight and so it is important to seek professional assistance as soon as you can. If this happens to you, rinse your eyes with lukewarm water for up to 15 minutes while also getting in touch with our offices. Prompt action could save your eyesight.

Corneal abrasion

Aka, a scratch to the surface of the eye, a corneal abrasion can vary hugely in its severity. A blunt-force trauma such as being accidentally poked in the eye may resolve itself, but more significant damage will require professional assistance. In most cases, corneal abrasions occur as a result of rubbing the eyes after getting particles of dust, grit or sand in them. Unfortunately, any open wound on the eye could put you at risk of developing an infection that could also affect your eyesight. If you suffer a scratch on the eye, our experienced optometrists can identify the cause of the abrasion and recommend treatments to help heal the wound without compromising your eyesight.

Sudden visual changes

Not all eye emergencies are related to accidents or injuries. It is entirely possible to start experiencing sudden visual disturbances such as flashing lights, temporary vision loss and more, and it is equally as important that you get seen by a professional as soon as you can. You may also experience severe headaches and eye pain. Make a note of your symptoms and arrange to get in touch with our eye doctors as soon as you can.




Panicking in the case of an emergency, including one involving the eyes, is very normal. However, knowing what to do in the event that an emergency situation does arise can make a big difference in the outcome of your problem. Our highly trained team of optometrists have a wide range of experience in dealing with eye emergencies and are on hand to help you and your loved ones should the need arise. To find out more, please contact University Optometric Center in Irvine, CA (949) 854-7122 today.


If you have any doubts about whether you should wait, go directly to the nearest emergency room, or call 911. Services performed outside of normal business hours may incur an additional after hours charge.