Emergency Eye Exams in Mountain Brook, AL

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Emergency Eye Care 

Mountain Brook Eye Care is ready to manage your emergency eye care needs. We strongly urge patients to schedule comprehensive exams annually to help prevent certain emergency eye conditions.  Your vision and health is our top priority, and if you are in an emergency situation, it’s best to seek immediate care. Many emergencies can be treated in our office, however, in the event you need specialized care we will refer you to the relevant eye specialist.

What is an Emergency Eye Exam?

An eye emergency is an evaluation and assessment of sudden, severe eye symptoms. It is imperative to determine the cause of such symptoms so we can begin the correct course of treatment and relief. 

What Kind of Emergency Eye Conditions Require Immediate Attention from an Eye Doctor?


Your retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye. When your retina is pulled away from its natural position at the back of your eye, this is referred to as a retinal detachment. It is crucial to seek an immediate dilated eye exam if you experience any of the following symptoms:  

  • Sudden vision loss in your peripheral or central vision
  • A lot of new floaters (small spots and squiggly lines that float across your vision)
  • Flashes of light A shadow moving over your field of vision

These symptoms of retinal detachment can come on quickly. If the retinal detachment isn’t treated right away, more of the retina can detach, leading to an increased risk of permanent vision loss. This eye problem is a medical emergency. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is crucial to see your eye doctor immediately. 


Also known as acute or narrow-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the pressure in your eye spikes suddenly and drastically. Symptoms of this condition include: 

  • Headaches
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Colored halos around lights at night
  • Blurred vision


There are several types of injuries to the eye, including blunt and penetrating trauma or chemical burns. Blunt trauma to the eye is often caused by impact forces such as fists, tennis balls, and airbags. Penetrating trauma may be caused by objects such as knives, ice picks, sticks, and nails.

Chemical injuries are often caused by work-related accidents or by everyday household products. These include cleaning solutions, garden chemicals, solvents, and other chemicals. Fumes and aerosols can also cause chemical burns. Treatment should be instituted immediately with copious irrigation/eye flushing using saline, if available, or tap water. 

Depending on the type of injury endured, symptoms to look out for include: 

  • Bleeding or other discharge from or around the eye
  • Decreased vision 
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Moderate to severe eye pain
  • A sensation of something in the eye
  • Headache
  • Double vision
  • Loss of vision, total or partial
  • Pupils of unequal size
  • Redness 
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stinging or burning in the eye
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Sudden onset of vision changes

How Should an Eye Emergency be Handled?

There is never a good substitute for getting professional medical care in an eye emergency. However, there are important first-aid measures to take if an emergency situation arises:

  • If you have chemicals in your eyes, flush out your eyes with saline or water, if saline is unavailable, for several minutes, and do not cover the affected eye/eyes.
  • If you have sustained a significant blow to your eye, place a cold compress on your eye to prevent swelling. 
  • If there is a foreign body in your eye/eyes, avoid rubbing your eyes and try to rinse away any debris gently. 
  • If your eye/eyelid has been punctured, try to cover the eye immediately. Do not rinse your eye.  

Once at the eye doctor’s office, the length of your emergency appointment and the length of time it takes to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan will depend on the nature of your problem. Fortunately, medical insurance will cover emergency medical exams, but the cost will be specific to your insurance plan. 

Remember that seeking out treatment in an emergency is vital to your eyes’ health. You risk damage to your eye or permanent vision loss by delaying or avoiding treatment altogether. If you cannot reach an eye doctor during an emergency, seek treatment at your local emergency room. 

What Common Symptoms May Indicate the Need for an Emergency Eye Exam?

Though symptoms vary, some of the most critical symptoms for an eye examination to look out for are: 

  • Seeing flashes of light or a shadow in your vision
  • Sudden onset of vision changes/vision loss
  • Moderate to severe eye pain
  • Recent history of traumatic injury

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek professional care immediately.

Emergency Eye Appointment at Mountain Brook Eye Care

In an eye emergency, our team is ready to assist you at our Mountain Brook, AL office. We understand emergencies can be stressful, and Dr. Edgerly is prepared to address your concerns quickly and efficiently. Mountain Brook Eye Care has solutions to meet your emergency eye care needs, so please do not hesitate to schedule your appointment the moment an eye emergency arises.