As a mom, getting a call from the nurse at your child’s school always makes your stomach drop. ‘It was a windy day on the playground, your daughter had wood chips blow into her eyes. Now she won’t open them and is crying a lot.’ Even though I’m an optometrist, I went into ‘Mom mode’ and was frantically thinking what to do.
So what should YOU do? Visit your local optometrist’s office!
These are some of the common emergency or urgent issues that an optometrist’s office can handle.
Foreign bodies in the eye
Sudden changes or loss of vision
New onset flashes/floaters
We typically can get you in the same day, are available after hours if you call the office phone number, and accept most medical insurance. You often can avoid an expensive and long emergency room visit. Plus, many emergency rooms do not have a slit lamp which makes it difficult for them to diagnose and treat the problem, leading to another referral elsewhere.
Luckily, I was able to take my daughter to my colleague Dr. Metzger, and with videos, stickers, and light -up toys, we were able to get my 3-year-old to cooperate enough that we determined she had a scratched cornea but should heal up nicely overnight. Sure enough, she was happy and playing again the next day!
At home, after getting wood chips in her eyes.
Even her favorite penguin couldn’t coax her to open her eyes.
All healed up the next day after an eye wash,
artificial tears, and a thorough eye exam.