There is a lot of confusion about what optometrists really do. We are so stereotypically associated with asking people "Which is better, 1 or 2?" and correcting vision problems that people are sometimes surprised to hear that we do a lot more! To help with the confusion I decided to start this new blog series "I should see an eye doctor for that?". Some might surprise you, some might not. In this blog let’s go over what to do if there’s something in your eye.
“These types of issue are covered completely by Alberta Health Care.”
Imagine this: You’re working in the shop. A piece of wood or metal gets in your eye. Or maybe you’re out innocently walking on a windy day when out of nowhere something flies into your eye and won’t come out. What do you do? What’s your first instinct? For most people it’s to rub their eyes. Please don’t (if there’s something sharp in there it will just scratch the front of the eye and be even more painful)! You might think to rinse it out with drops, saline, or water and that’s a fair instinct but what if that doesn’t work?
“… your doctor of optometry has all the right tools and training and can usually see you right away.”
For many people their next stop is either the emergency room or their family doctor. That’s a fair choice and certainly if something has punctured the eye or there’s extreme bleeding go to the ER. Otherwise your doctor of optometry has all the right tools and training and can usually see you right away.
What do we do? Well, first we numb your eye with a simple eye drop. Then under high magnification we use specialized tools designed specifically for the eye to remove whatever is stuck. Afterwards, if required, we would prescribe an appropriate medication to prevent infection or further injury. It’s as easy as that.
If you're ever concerned about something related to your eyes and you aren't sure if your doctor of optometry is equipped to deal with your problem it's important that you call them and ask. Even if your optometrist isn't able to deal with something he or she can often put you in touch with the right people, such as the on call ophthalmologist, and get you seen and treated sooner.
These types of issues are covered completely by Alberta Health Care. There is generally no charge to you for this type of visit (this can be up to the doctor's discretion. At Eye Spy Optometry we never charge for this type of visit).