You can’t plan for the unexpected. When you’re faced with an eye emergency, Visions of Washington is here to help. We do our best to accommodate emergency appointments.

If you have an eye emergency, contact us. We will help you however we can.

Emergency Eye Care

Symptoms of an Emergency

Your vision is much too valuable to risk. Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • An object is embedded in your eye

  • Your eye is very red or bloodshot

  • You experience sudden vision loss

  • You experience a sudden increase in floaters

  • You see flashes of light

  • You feel acute eye pain

  • You notice thick, sticky yellow or whitish discharge

  • You see black spots

  • Your eye is swollen or sealed shut with discharge

  • Your vision suddenly appears blurry

Emergency Eye First Aid

Foreign Object in the Eye

If something is in your eye but not embedded in your eye, you may be able to remove it yourself. Start by flushing your eye out with cool, clean water. If, after a few tries, the water hasn’t carried the object away, try gently removing the object with a clean cotton swab. If the object still won’t come away, leave it alone and seek medical attention. Do not rub your eye, and do not use tweezers or any other sort of instrument to remove the object.

Chemical Exposure

Eye tissues are very delicate, and can easily be irritated or damaged by chemicals. If any sort of chemical makes contact with your eye, you need to flush it out immediately with clean water for at least 20 minutes. Even if your eye feels fine after a moment or two, it’s crucial that you continue to flush any chemicals fully away. After you’ve flushed your eyes out for a full 20 minutes, seek medical attention.


Any sort of eye infection requires medical attention. If your eye has been sealed shut by discharge, you may moisten a clean face cloth with warm (not hot) water, and gently dab at your eye to loosen the crust. Do not rub the eye. Keep rinsing the cloth and dabbing at the eye until enough discharge has come away to allow you to open your eye. Then call your optometrist. You’ll also need to throw away any cosmetics you’ve used around your eyes in the last 24 to 48 hours, and wash any linens or clothing that may have come in contact with the eye to prevent recontamination. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly to prevent the spread of infection.