Eye Emergencies

Eye Emergencies in Olympia

Eye Emergencies

There is a wide range of eye emergencies which can be the result of a variety of causes and it is important to know what to do and what not to do in case of emergency.

If you are experiencing an eye emergency please visit the page below for more information on what to do. We always recommend calling if you have an eye emergency, to make sure that you are taking the proper precautions.


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There is such a wide variety of causes and conditions associated with eye emergencies and each one comes with its own symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms, especially suddenly, try to get an immediate appointment with your eye doctor and if that is not possible, seek urgent care from your nearby emergency room:

  • Sudden loss or change of vision
  • Double vision
  • Pupils appear to be different sizes
  • One eye is protruding outward
  • One eye is not moving like the other
  • Pain or burning sensation in the eye
  • New or severe headaches
  • Spots (known as floaters) in your field of vision, accompanied by flashes of light

What Not to Do During an Eye Emergency

If you are experiencing an eye emergency, please do not try to treat it on your own. During an eye emergency, the status of your eye is fragile and only a professional can treat it without causing further damage.

No matter how tempting it is, please do not:

  • Rub your eyes
  • Try to apply ointments, eye drops or medication to your eyes
  • Remove a foreign body from your eyes
  • Use tweezers or any other tools near your eyes

It is important that you get professional care as soon as possible so please give us a call at (360) 491-2121 or visit a nearby emergency room immediately.

What Not to Do During an Eye Emergency

Schedule An Emergency Eye Exam

Eye emergencies can occur as a result of a vast range of causes. Oftentimes an eye emergency could be straightforward to identify. For example, if you have a foreign object or chemical in your eye, or if there was a physical injury or burn that has affected your eye or the area surrounding, make sure to get immediate professional care and do not try to treat it on your own. Any emergency that affects the eye has a risk of affecting your vision so do not wait or hesitate and please call our office at (360) 491-2121 to schedule an appointment right away with the eye doctor who can provide the proper diagnosis and treatment. We will do our best to accommodate you on short notice for an eye emergency. If there isn’t an immediate appointment available at our office, you will be guided where to get urgent care which will likely be at the local emergency room or urgent care facility.

Common Questions

Find out if there is a nearby eyewash station specific for this kind of emergency. If you work in an environment where there is a risk of chemicals reaching your eyes then there must be an eye washing station and you should be taught how to use it when you begin working. If there is an eye washing station, make sure to open your eyes wide using your fingers to keep your eyes open and flush out your eyes with water for approximately 20 minutes. If you are not located in a place with an eyewash station, find clean lukewarm water and flush out your eyes for around twenty minutes. Before washing your eyes, make sure your hands are clean and do not contain any chemicals. If you’re wearing contact lenses and they did not come out when flushing your eyes, then carefully remove your contact lenses. After washing your eyes, please proceed to go to the nearest emergency room and do not wait. If you have a container of the chemical that got in your eyes you can bring it to the hospital. Also, if there are sunglasses readily available, it is recommended to wear them to help with light sensitivity. The healthcare professionals at the hospital’s emergency room will treat your eye properly and prevent any further damage.
First of all, be aware of your surroundings and the activities you are partaking in. Make sure to understand the relevant risks to your eyes and find out the best way to stay safe. In general, if there is any chance of your eyes being in danger, it is recommended to wear protective eyewear such as goggles. Please make sure the protective gear fits properly and is as comfortable as can be.
Eye Emergencies
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Eye emergencies can occur due to various causes and each situation has its own symptoms. If you are experiencing an eye emergency please make sure to get care right away. You can go to call our office at (360) 491-2121 to see if our eye doctor is available to see you immediately, otherwise go to the emergency room where they are also trained to deal with any type of eye emergency.

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