- Did you wake up with itchy, oozing, red eyes?
- Are you seeing dark spots, flashes of lights or floaters all of a sudden?
- Did you sleep in your contacts last night & now you don’t know if they’re still in?
- Did you have an accident & now you are experiencing eye pain or blurred vision?
Our office is open 7 days a week with same-day appointments available and walk-ins are welcome during normal business hours. Should you require immediate eye care attention, our eye doctor will see you to make sure everything is okay.
If your emergency is life-threatening, please contact 911 and go to your local ER.
Symptoms of an eye emergency include but are not limited to:
- Eye trauma
- Foreign materials stuck in your eyes (especially metal or chemical)
- Sudden loss of vision, in either both eyes or one eye
- Eye infections, such as “pink eye” and other bacterial infections
- Irritable, itchy or uncomfortable eyes
- Red or painful eyes
- Flashes of light in your vision
- “Floaters” in your vision
- A scratch to your eye
- Broken, lost or dislodged contact lenses
- Chemical burns
- Eye allergies
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, please don’t “wait it out.” Many of these eye emergencies require immediate and urgent care. Please contact our office for guidance and schedule an appointment.
Unless you need immediate care during after-hours or unless your emergency includes flesh wound and is life-threatening, you may be able to get faster and better quality service at your local eye doctor.
- Most optometrists or ophthalmologists should be able to see you within 20-60 minutes, versus the 2-6 hours wait you may experience at the ER.
- Your eye doctor has the proper diagnostic tools to evaluate your eye injury. Most ERs do not have a slit lamp or any magnifying lenses available for the on-call optometrist or ophthalmologist to check your eyes up-close.
- Most ER doctors lack expertise in properly treating eye injuries and may use methods that can further scratch or bruise your eyes
- Office visit fees at your local eye doctor are usually cheaper than the fees charged by your hospital’s ER department
If you are unsure, please call our Irvine office at (949) 585-9403 and we’ll gladly guide you.
For eye emergencies that do not require immediate surgery, most emergency rooms will refer you back to an optometrist anyway.
Whenever an eye injury occurs, certain steps must be taken in order to prevent serious damage and visual loss.
- If someone has been exposed to a harmful chemical, immediate irrigation of the eye with water is of utmost importance, even before a phone call to the ER or to the eye doctor is made.
- If a blunt or penetrating injury of the eye occurs, manipulation of the eye should be avoided since further damage could be caused. A shield (such as a makeshift one cut from a Styrofoam cup) should be placed over the eye. A pressure patch on the eye may be harmful after trauma and should be avoided.
As a general rule, while waiting for medical attention:
- DO NOT press on an injured eye or allow the victim to rub the eye(s).
- DO NOT attempt to remove a foreign body that is resting on the cornea (the clear surface of the eye through which we see) or that appears to be embedded in any part of the eye.
- DO NOT use dry cotton (including cotton swabs) or sharp instruments (such as tweezers) on the eye.
- DO NOT attempt to remove an embedded object.
Call us with any questions and to make an appointment. For urgent care, Dr. Chang or one of her associates can see you same-day on most days.
Conditions you may be able to wait but require evaluation within 1-2 days
- Redness and/or discharge of the eyes
- Blisters or lumps on the eyes
- Aching pain in the eyes (acute pain requires immediate attention)
- Foreign body sensation