How Do I Know if I am Suffering From an Eye Emergency?

Eye Emergency, West Vision

No one likes have something in their eye. Anything that messes with your vision is frightening, since people primarily rely on their eyesight for important sensory details.

Some eyes concerns are scary. We at West Vision urge you to take action when you notice concerning symptoms, like throbbing or burning in the area. Taking action early can prevent permanent damage to your sight. Here is what you should look out for to know if you’re suffering from an eye emergency.


You feel throbbing, aching, stabbing, or burning sensations around or in your eye. Have you experienced an injury? If not, you may have an eye condition, such as inflammation of the iris, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, corneal abrasion, diabetic retinopathy, sinusitis, migraine, the flu, or a stye.

Take out any contact lenses. Rest your eyes. Contact us at West Vision if the problem persists and the pain escalates, especially if you begin experiencing vision loss.

Light sensitivity

Light sensitivity is also known as photophobia, and bright light causes your eyes to experience discomfort.

Several issues can cause light sensitivity, such as migraine headache, dry eye, meningitis, corneal ulcer, inflammation, retinal detachment, and certain medications. Wearing your contact lenses too long or too often can also lead to photophobia.

Mild symptoms of light sensitivity often pass, and you can adapt by adjusting the light in the room or wearing sunglasses. If light sensitivity persists or worsens, get in contact with us at West Vision Care.

Pupil changes in size

Your pupil expands and contracts due to exposure to shifts in light, but what happens if your pupils enlarge outside this circumstance?

Pupils can enlarge for no apparent reason, but there’s often a reasonable cause. Some people are born with different-sized pupils, and asthma medication and eye drops can also cause the pupils to grow in size.

If the size doesn’t shift back, you may have an eye, blood vessel, nerve, or brain disease. Consider your symptoms an emergency if you also experience eye pain, light sensitivity, double vision, headache, fever, stiff neck, or nausea.

Shadows cross your vision

It sounds like something out of a paranormal TV show — a shadow or veil moves across your field of vision. But don’t call Ghostbusters just yet.

A shadow or veil can indicate damage done by diabetes, also known as diabetic retinopathy. Seeing a veil can also be caused by retinal detachment when the retina is torn or scarred, or when blood or fluid separates the retina from its bottom layer. A detached retina can lead to blindness, so this is an eye emergency.

Seeing double

You may joke with the saying “I’m seeing double” when you see two people who look like twins, but experiencing double vision, or diplopia, is no joke in real life. A double image can occur side by side, on top of the original, underneath, or any other orientation. You can experience it in one or both eyes.

Several conditions can cause diplopia, including temporal arteritis, brain tumors, migraine headaches, aneurysms, strokes, and issues with the eye’s muscles, nerves, and cornea. So, get your eyes checked as soon as possible when this symptom persists.

Flashes of light

Are you seeing flashes of light? As many as 25-30% of migraine sufferers experience flashes of light before the onset of pain, that last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. These “auras” often occur right before a migraine headache, and these can prove debilitating, affecting your job and daily movements.

Don’t attempt to treat yourself if you experience a severe eye injury or persistent symptoms suggest an underlying condition. Pain, light sensitivity, pupil size shifts, shadows, double images, and flashes of light all signal a more serious issue, if these symptoms persist.


Contact us at West Vision to discuss these symptoms and get your eyesight taken care of by Dr. West immediately.

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