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Eye Pain (cont.)

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Eye Pain?

If one has eye pain, seek advice from a doctor or an ophthalmologist. It is difficult over the phone for a health care professional to grade the severity of eye pain or make a diagnosis without examining the patient.

Because of the specialized nature of the equipment necessary for eye examination, most eye problems are usually handled best in an ophthalmologist's office. If your ophthalmologist is not available, go to a hospital's emergency department. If the emergency department has the necessary eye equipment, an ophthalmologist may see you in the emergency department after hours.

  • Any eye pain related to burns (chemical or flash) needs immediate treatment.
  • Eye pain associated with loss of vision, loss of eye movement, painful eye movement, eye swelling, eye discharge, and severe headache are all significant findings that need to be evaluated by an ophthalmologist or in the emergency department immediately.
  • Any eye pain related to a traumatic event such as an object puncturing the eye, a blow to the eye with a foreign object, or a motor vehicle collision with injuries affecting the eye needs to be evaluated by an ophthalmologist or in the emergency department immediately.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/28/2016

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