Don't Delay an Eye Emergency
Once we had one patient who noticed a dark area in the peripheral vision of one eye. She waited a few days and hoped the condition would disappear. Unfortunately, on each subsequent day, the non-seeing area increased in size. After about one week she came to see us but by then it was too late. She found she had a retinal detachment and immediately referred her to a retinal surgeon. There was unfortunately permanent vision loss because of the delay in getting treatment.
We have an emergency after-hours telephone number
Please note that our after-hours emergency service is provided only to current patients and their families.
If you experience loss of vision, double vision, swelling, infection or any eye emergency, contact us immediately for guidance.
We’ll help you with the best treatment to prevent complications and promote long-lasting clear eyesight.
We prefer to help you as soon as possible for emergency problems, even on weekends or evenings. Our established patients can reach us at 910.583.5953 or 910.797.4909 for emergencies. This after hours service is only available for existing patients. We do not see new patients for emergencies after normal office hours.
Use your best judgment on the urgency of your problem. If you are unable to reach us after hours please go to the local hospital emergency room.
- Monday: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
- Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
- Wednesday: 12:00 PM - 7:30 PM
- Thursday: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
- Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed
When should you call us?
How do you know if your vision problem is serious? When in doubt, CALL US. Our staff is waiting to help with your symptoms, and if they show a serious condition, we will see you immediately. Most of these vision issues can rapidly deteriorate and may cause permanent vision loss if not treated in time.
When to Seek Medical Care
If you have chronic symptoms of pain, vision issues, or bleeding, you should contact us immediately. Most of these conditions need prompt attention. Without treatment, an individual can permanently lose vision within a day or two.
In general, the following are some symptoms that would normally warrant prompt medical attention:
Increased Light Sensitivity
A common cause of extreme light sensitivity is uveitis. This is an internal inflammation of the eye that can result in serious complications if not addressed at its outset. Uveitis also becomes very painful as it worsens.
We can easily treat this condition, if caught early, with high doses of steroids and cyclopleging eye drops. Corneal ulcers result in pain and light sensitivity. These are difficult and mostly happen to people who choose to sleep in their contact lenses. If the ulcer is caused by Pseudomonas bacteria, the eye can be lost within 48 hours so it is important to treat right away.
Fortunately, most ulcers are not caused by Pseudomonas, and we treat them with antibiotics and daily monitoring until the ulcer is cured.
Sudden Blurred or
Loss of Vision
This is often caused by retinal problems. The retina is the tissue in the rear of the eye where the visual image is formed.
Common causes of vision impairment include retinal hemorrhage, tears or detachment, macular bleeding, corneal problems, retinal vascular occlusion or optic nerve problems.
These are all serious conditions that require us to see you immediately.Retinal detachments: These can rapidly lead to blindness if not treated in time. The retina is the tissue in the back of the eye where visual images are formed.
Warning signs of retinal detachments include a painless loss of peripheral vision, new or increased numbers of floaters, and flashes of light.
This could result from any of the following:
- Coreal Abrasions
- Corneal ulcers
- Angle-closure glaucoma
- Corneal foreign bodies.
Corneal foreign bodies: Foreign bodies of all kinds can become stuck in the cornea. It is critical to be seen immediately if the foreign body is metal since iron fragments rust quickly and this complicates treatment. We must remove the foreign body and the rust.
The longer it is in the cornea, the harder it is to remove all the rust.
Corneal abrasions causing pain or occasional blurred vision. This diagnosis is often simple for the patient because there was usually eye trauma that caused this issue.
We are here to talk over your eye problem after hours to determine if it requires immediate attention. If you cannot reach us, then please visit your hospital emergency room.