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Children’s Emergency Eye Care

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young boy eye injuryEye injury or trauma is a common reason that kids need emergency medical care. In fact, estimates report that approximately 34% of kids under the age of 15 suffer a penetrating eye injury at some point! Rough sports and shooting objects, such as darts, air guns, toys, sticks and stones, cause most of these eye emergencies.

Urgent Eye Doctor Visit for Kids in Houston Texas & Surrounding Areas

In the event of a serious eye injury in Houston, Texas, it is critical for your child to consult our eye doctor. Our qualified and compassionate optometrist will check your kid’s eyes thoroughly to identify the extent of the injury. This is the most reliable way to prevent eye complications and a bad visual outcome.

What is an eye emergency in kids?

Eyes and the surrounding tissues are extremely delicate. Since the eye can be damaged easily, it is important to be familiar with what qualifies as an eye emergency. Therefore, you can ensure that your child receives appropriate medical treatment as soon as possible. Without treatment, some eye injuries put your kid at risk of vision loss.

Pediatric eye emergencies that require medical attention include:

  • Cuts or scratches on the eye or eyelid
  • Objects stuck in the eye
  • Burns
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Blunt injury to the eye or eyelid
  • Eye infection, such as pink eye

What are the symptoms of an eye emergency?

The signs and symptoms of a pediatric eye emergency vary depending upon the type of injury. They include:

  • Bruising
  • Pupils of unequal size
  • Redness (bloodshot)
  • Bleeding, or other discharge from the eye
  • Double vision, reduced vision, or loss of vision
  • Eye pain
  • Itchy eyes
  • Stinging or burning
  • Sensation of something stuck in the eye
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light

What if my child has a black eye?

Direct trauma to the face or eye – such as from a whizzing baseball or swinging racket – can cause a black eye. Basically, this is a bruise due to bleeding under the skin. It is not unusual for active kids to come home with a black eye!

At first, the tissue surrounding the eye turns black and blue, often accompanied by swelling. Over the course of the next few days, it will change to a variety of colors, including purple, yellow and green. Normal skin tone typically returns within two weeks.

Immediately after the trauma occurs, gently place cold compresses on the eye. (Be careful not to apply pressure.) Then we recommend that you bring your child for an eye exam in our Houston, TX, office. We will evaluate the ocular condition and check for any vision damage.

My kid woke up with a pink eye and crusty eyelid. What is this?

Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is a common and contagious eye infection. The classic symptoms include redness and swelling of the outer membrane of the eye, along with drainage from the eye that can cause eyelashes to stick together.

Fortunately, pink eye is treated easily and efficiently with antibiotics. Contact our optometrist for an immediate appointment. If we determine that it is a bacterial infection, we will prescribe the most suitable medication – generally eye drops or ointment. Your child can usually return to daycare or school 24 hours after beginning antibiotics.

My child’s eyes were exposed to a chemical solution. What should I do?

Many common household products, such as paint solvents, sunscreen, craft supplies, garden chemicals, and cleaning solutions can cause a chemical eye injury or irritate children’s eyes.

The first thing to do is rinse your kid’s eye out with clean cool water. To rinse out her eye, hold the eyelid open and allow running water from the sink faucet to flush the eye for about 15 minutes. If both eyes came into contact with the chemicals, taking a shower may be most effective.

If this doesn’t resolve the irritation, contact our optometrist urgently for guidance. Be sure to tell us exactly what type of solution or chemical was involved.

Something is stuck in my kid’s eye. Should I try to remove it?

With small, loose objects, such as sand or a stray eyelash, the eye will often clear itself through blinking and tearing. If it doesn’t, you can try the following:

  1.    Make sure your child does not rub his eye!
  2.    Wash your hands and look at the eye closely.
  3.    If you locate the object easily, try to flush it out with clean water.
  4.    If you cannot locate the object, contact our Houston, TX, eye doctor for assistance.

Frequently, even if you are able to remove the offensive object, your child will feel some mild discomfort or scratchiness for a short time. This is normal! However, if the discomfort continues for more than a day, call our eye doctor for medical help.

If the object is embedded in the eye, do not try to remove it. Do not delay - bring your child immediately for emergency eye care!

Tips for Preventing Pediatric Eye Emergencies

One of the best rules you can tell kids is to never rub their eyes! This will protect their sensitive eyes from many harmful substances. In addition, it’s a good idea to invest in protective eye gear for children who play sports that have a high risk of eye injury.

Our children's eye doctors are qualified and experienced to treat many eye emergencies and eye infections in our Houston, TX optometry practice. It is not always necessary to rush your kid to the emergency room – contact us for assistance!

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