Ocular Emergency

Call (579) 641-9389 to get an Eye Emergency appointment

What are the first signs of an ocular emergency?

Red eye or redness

Apart from a conjunctivitis, a red eye can be the cause for numerous conditions from a dry eye to a severe eye infection. In general, someone who wears corneal lenses (contact lenses) should always take them off and should consult in the following 24-48h. A redness with pain or light sensibility should be evaluated quickly. A doctor in optometry is trained to diagnose and treat eye problems. If the condition requires more advanced treatments, the optometrist will refer you quickly to an ophthalmologist (specialized eye doctor) who will jointly treat the condition. 

Eye Pain

The eye pain is often caused by a problem on the cornea, more specifically the transparent dome located in front of the iris (the eye color). It is the most sensible zone of the body since the nerves are directly exposed. The pain can be cause by a dry eye, a piece in the eye, an infection or an inflammation. Any pain should be investigated, especially if the vision is blurred or if there is redness.


The conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the white part of the eye (called conjunctiva). For adults, the majority of conjunctivitis are not bacteria based, meaning that they are not treatable with Polysporin from the pharmacy. Other possible causes are viruses, allergies and toxic reactions. Many conditions are similar to the conjunctivitis, such as keratitis, uveitis, the presence of a foreign body (a piece in the eye) and dry eyes. Because a few of these conditions are very serious, any red eye should be verified by an optometrist in the following 24-48h since the start of the symptoms.

Since the key word is caution

Any patient should consult in the following situations:

  • Eye pain
  • Infection
  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Foreign body in the eye
  • Symptoms of “flashes” or eye floaters (thread, “fly”, veil…)
  • Sudden vision loss

*The Health Insurance Card covers the emergency consultation but there are fees for the treatment and care of $80.

My eye is red, is it dangerous to apply Polysporin?

No, it is not dangerous to apply Polysporin on a red eye. Though it is important to know that many people are allergic to Polysporin, meaning that the medication can irritate further the eyes and contribute to the redness of the eyes. The danger in applying Polysporin is rather by waiting before consulting an eye professional who could give you a clear diagnostic. With certain conditions, the more we wait before treating the eye with the right medication, the higher the serious risk for the vision and health of the eye.

IMPORTANT: A request for an eyeglass prescription is not considered to be an ocular emergency. If you would like to have one, please schedule an appointment for a complete eye examination here.

However, if your eyeglasses are broken, please call the clinic (579) 641-9389 for a quicker appointment.