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A Visit to the Emergency Room or Your Optometrist?

Eye Care Emergencies To Take Directly to the Optometry Office ASAP

When a health crisis occurs, it is common to consider a visit to the nearest hospital emergency room for care. However, when the emergency is related to your eyes, consider a trip to your optometrist’s office as the first stop.

Recent research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors’ offices can potentially divert more than 1 million patients away from ERs each year. While doing so eases the burden on hospitals and their staff and helps them conserve resources, it also ensures that you get the most prompt treatment and care.

New or existing patient? We are here to help! Here are some of the several circumstances where you can keep eye emergencies out of hospital emergency rooms.

Foreign Body Removal

With fallen leaves blowing in the wind and chopped wood burning in backyard bonfire pits, autumn carries with it several instances that a foreign body can end up embedded in an eye.

The sharp pain, watery eyes and frightening blurred vision from a foreign body can coax a run to the bathroom for a quick self-removal attempt or an anxious run to the nearest emergency room. Try and keep this in mind: the eye is a fragile organ. Any self-pursuits of removal or a long wait in an ER can lead to an unfavorable outcome.

Take a deep breath, give us a quick call, and let our team know you are on your way so we can prepare to address your needs right upon your arrival!

Lost/Broken Contacts

After wearing contacts for years, they no longer feel like foreign objects until… they tear or get lost in the eyelid. Chances are you did not realize the contact was torn until it was in your eye. Torn lenses are less likely to stay centered and the jagged edge can scratch the front surface of your eye.

During allergy seasons, your eyes can get extremely itchy. Rubbing your eye can cause contacts to fold, dislodge from the cornea and get stuck under your upper eyelid.

Don’t panic! You can remove ripped contact lenses following your usual process. Even lost, folded lenses can often be found by adding contact lens solution to your eye, closing your eye, and massaging your eyelid until the lens repositions itself.

If these attempts fail or are successful but followed by discomfort, call or visit your eye doctor for assistance.

Chemical Flushing

Some chemicals are more toxic than others, but all chemicals should be considered dangerous if they encounter your eye. Certain chemicals can cause damage to the cornea and lead to vision loss.

Cleaning your bathroom mirrors, providing maintenance to your vehicle, or starting a manicure with nail polish remover? These are common situations where an acid can accidentally make its way into your eye, causing them to sting and burn.

If you are wearing contacts, remove them immediately. Preferably flush your eyes with saline if you have it on hand or with room temperature water. Seek urgent medical care from your trusted O.D.

Red & Burning Eyes

While chemical exposure can lead to red and burning eyes, this eye experience can be linked to several other serious issues. Bacteria, mites, allergens, skin diseases and autoimmune diseases can lead to similar reactions. You may not know you have any of these until you are examined by an optometrist.

Don’t try to give red and burning eyes time to fall by the wayside. Proper diagnosis by your O.D. is essential to determine the best treatment.

Discharge From the Eye

Pink eye is a misguided diagnosis. It is often confused with other conjunctivitis conditions. If taken directly to an emergency room, patients are usually prescribed a simple antibiotic to cure what is easily assumed based on the symptoms.

Correct diagnosis of red eyes accompanied by discharge are best evaluated by an eye doctor as quickly as possible since some of the causes can be sight-threatening.

Flashes and Floaters

You may consider floating spots and flashing lights a symptom of constantly staring at a computer screen or having a painful migraine. While these reasons can be valid, flashes and floaters must be addressed quickly as they could be an indication of a retinal defect such as retinal detachment, or a stroke. These can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated.

Step away from the computer screen, give us a call and explain what is obstructing your vision. This will help us determine if an immediate evaluation by one of our trusted vision-care specialists should be the next move on your to-do list.

Sudden Vision Changes

Sitting in the car and notice you can’t see out of one eye? Or does your vision seem much worse than it was yesterday while you’re reading your newest novel? These sudden vision changes can be ominous signs. The most likely reasons are macular degeneration, elevated eye pressure, or optic nerve disease.

If you or a loved one experiences sudden vision changes, call our Spring Lake office at 616-844-7000. A prompt diagnosis by your optometrist is essential to restore vision to normal.


These are just some examples of situations that are best treated by your trusted O.D. rather than an ER physician. Take anything involving your eye health into consideration and do not hesitate to contact us for prompt and precise eye care.  

The Difference Between Exams: Comprehensive vs. Contacts

Woman applying contact lens in bathroomRoutine comprehensive eye exams, scheduled annually, are important for several reasons. These general exams help determine if you need vision correction, search for eye issues, detect health conditions like diabetes, and more. However, if you are interested in wearing contacts, a contact lens exam is different—and necessary.


Not one eye is the same. Each one has a differently shaped cornea, the transparent part of your eye covering the pupil and iris. If the lens does not match the unique design, it can cause discomfort or even eye damage. You may even require specialty lenses if you have astigmatism or presbyopia. This is just one reason why scheduling a contact lens is important. Contacts also require a certain amount of fluid for comfort. A tear film evaluation may occur during your contact lens exam. This test will ensure you produce enough healthy tears to keep both the lenses and your cornea hydrated throughout the day. If you face dry eye disease, you will likely need a specific contact lens that is more suitable for parched eyes. Keep in mind, an eyeglass exam is no substitution for a contact lens exam. Eyeglasses are positioned a certain distance away from your eyes compared to contact lenses, which sit directly on top of the eye.


Following your contact lens exam, you will be provided with trial contacts to ensure that the chosen lenses provide you with clear vision and comfort. The trial contacts will allow your eye doctor to make any adjustments needed, if any, to the initial prescription.


Contacts are great to wear when playing sports, won’t fog up like glasses occasionally do, and can cause fewer vision distortions than glasses. Let us help you find the perfect contacts and coach you on the proper lens care and application. Request an appointment at your nearest Eye Care One location today!

Toys & Toddlers: Eye Safety

Pull on those red things to open. Christmas holidays with gifts for these two kids that sitting indoors in the nice room near the bedTis the season for tons of toys arriving in wrapping from family, friends, and Santa. While toys are all fun and games and can help stimulate a child’s vision, their eyes can be easily hurt by toys. Prevent Blindness, an organization formed over a century ago, posted in 2019 that nearly 184,000 children under the age of 15 had been sent to an emergency room due to toy-related injuries. While eye health is always something to look out for, it is especially important during the holiday season when new toys and trinkets come a child’s way.

Determining Toy Safety

First and foremost, don’t just give presents, be present! On top of all the suggestions to help determine toy safety, one of the most important tips is to have an eye on your little one while they have their hands on any type of toy. Additionally:

  • Check packaging labels for age recommendations and only purchase age-appropriate toys. Has someone else gifted them without taking a peek? Still say thanks and save the gift for later!
  • Look for toys marked with “ASTM”. This marking stands for the American Society for Testing and Materials, meaning the toy meets national safety standards.
  • Determine if protective eyewear is necessary, especially with older children and sports equipment.
  • Play with it yourself first! Make sure the toy is unbreakable and does not have sharp ends, or small pieces that are not securely attached.

Handling an Eye Injury

When an eye injury happens, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take while you’re seeking medical assistance. You are not alone! Here are some tips provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology when it comes to caring for children’s eye injuries:

  • Avoiding flushing with water might be a surprise, but unless the eye has been exposed to a chemical, avoid rinsing with any fluids.
  • In the beginning, applying pressure to the eye might give a bit of relief, but should be avoided along with any eye rubbing. However, if there is a clear cut or puncture to the eye, it is recommended to gently cover the wound.
  • Do not try to remove any small debris or objects stuck in the eye. Try, instead, to have your child blink rapidly with their eyelid lifted. This movement is likely to bring about tears that may flush out any particles.
  • Most importantly, seek treatment! Especially if the injury appears to worsen over time.

While eyes are relatively durable parts of the body, they are still vulnerable to injuries caused by toys. While some injuries are meager; others are major and may lead to severe optical trauma and even blindness. Remember to keep an eye out as children frolic and play!

Our team at Eye Care One hopes that you have a wonderful holiday season! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Block the Blue Light

Cheerful lovely young girl wearing pajamas laying in bedThe truth is, blue light isn’t all bad. It shouldn’t be blocked at all times. It can help memory, boost alertness, and elevate your mood! Still, the eye cannot take blue light all day long and it can easily contribute to eye strain especially when it is coming from computer screens and tablets, and cellphones.

These days, we’re working, learning, and relaxing in front of screens emitting blue light all throughout the day—and night. Even your average indoor lightbulb can give off blue light.

You’re probably wondering. Okay, but what is blue light anyway?

Blue light is the highest energy visible light on the UV spectrum, and before the advent of technology, the sun was our only significant source of blue light. Problems arise, however, with the amount of blue light to which we are exposing our brains and bodies, potentially causing undue stress to our eyes and even making it hard to sleep at night.

There are a few ways to avoid this strain. First, let us introduce you to one of the best options on the list: blue light blocking lenses.

What are blue light blocking lenses?

Good question. Glasses equipped with lenses with blue light protection are a simple solution to combat the symptoms caused by increased screen time. The technology in these lenses has a subtle tint that softens harsh blue light rays as they pass through, reducing the amount of blue light to which the wearer’s eyes are exposed. They aren’t heavy or thick and can be made without a prescription attached to them. They can be made to fit adults, teens, and children and are safe for all to wear. All blue light blocking glasses aren’t made the same. They can be made to block a certain percentage of blue light. How much you decide to block, well, that is up to you. Give our practice a call and we will gladly talk you through your options!

What else can I do to block blue light?

While you won’t be able to block it without the correct lens as your shield, you can still manage it.

When working at a computer, for example, you’re often looking up and down, from screen to paper, and your eyes are moving around and refocusing time after time. This is where the 20-20-20 rule can come into play. For every 20 minutes you’re in front of a screen, turn your head and look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Just, give your eyes a break.

Another option: simply lower the brightness. The display settings for your screen on your phone or computer allow you to adjust the amount of light seeping from the screen. If your screen looks like a light source, lower the brightness. If your screen looks dull and a bit too dark, it’s okay and probably for the best to brighten it up. A dull screen can also strain your eyes.

Bottom line, protect your eyes the best way you can, and remember that we are here to help! Looking to get a pair of blue light protection glasses that fit your lifestyle and your budget? Here at Eye Care One, we can customize any style of frame and lens prescription with blue light-blocking technology.

When Sweat Stings

People exercising at fitness gym

Do your eyes sting when drops of sweat travel down your forehead and into your eyes? Ouch!

You may have noticed that sometimes your eyes feel irritated, and other times, they feel fine. Whether you start to your eyes sting while you’re getting a workout in or just hanging out under the last few days of warm sun, you are not alone, and there are a few reasons why.

While there is no evidence that your sweat can do any harm to your eyes, it would still be nice to avoid the prickly feeling. What it basically comes down to is how you have prepared for your day. Here are a couple of things to consider:


What sweat consists of on its own is water, salt, proteins, ammonia, and other minerals. It is the salty matter that can cause your eyes to become irritated and burn. Luckily, there is a simple way to make sure the salt load is low.

You guessed it. Drink water.

And if not water, a sports drink can also help hydrate you before becoming active or heading out into the sun.

Hair & Skin Care

The sweat that gets into your eyes often makes a couple stops on the way: your scalp, hair, and forehead.

On these pit stops, the sweat picks up some hitchhiker germs and grime like the pomade you added to style your hair or the face cream and sunscreen you massaged into your skin.

Although these products are necessary [#selfcare], they are often formulated with ingredients that your eyes do not particularly care for.

Consider lightening up on the products you apply or pick something a bit more delicate on days when you know you’ll be on the sweatier side.

Block it or Battle it

Some more easy ways to avoid the sting of sweat include using a sweat headband to absorb sweat before it reaches your face, look into a good brand of eyedrops to help relieve any pain, or just close your eyes and splash your face with cool water for a quick fix.

If stinging, burning eyes remain a consistent issue, contact your nearest Eye Care One to set up an informative appointment today!

Getting Back to Learning Requires Healthy Vision

Board 9There is so much uncertainty as our kids, teens and young adults go back to school this fall! But one thing is for sure – our eyes are remarkably important to learning!

Did you know that 80% of the sensory information that reaches our brain comes from our eyes? Not only that – 80% of learning is through our eyes!

Vision and eye health issues are not always obvious.

Children who can “see” well may still struggle with their vision while learning. Eye alignment, eye teaming, eye movement and coordination, eye focus, and dry eyes all influence how we visually perform.

Parents and educators alike often assume that if our child passes a vision screening, they are ok. Vision screenings are definitely not comprehensive eye exams.

Vision is a sense that is not always automatic! It develops in our formative years. Comprehensive eye exams can detect issues that once addressed can have lifelong impacts. For school-aged children, the American Optometric Association recommends annual eye exams begin before 1st grade and each year thereafter.

Let’s give our children the best chance at success! Make sure you get your child’s annual eye health and vision exam checked off your list!

We at Eye Care One provide comprehensive eye exams and vision therapy treatment options to help children’s learning and development.

Request your appointment today!

Essential vs. Non-Essential Eye Care

blog preventative 1024×640 900×600As we navigate new processes and protocols as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, you may be wondering, what’s the difference between Essential and Non-Essential Eye Care.

Essential Eye Care services include treatment for medical conditions, including urgent care needs that keep patients from carrying out their regular daily routines. These include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Broken or lost eyewear
  • Eye trauma
  • Vision loss
  • Contact lens-related pain
  • Flashes or floating objects in the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Severe or recurring headaches

We are equipped to handle your Essential Eye Care needs so you do not have visit the ER – which may put you at risk of exposure to infection while also potentially taking from patients with critical conditions having no other alternatives.

Non-Essential Eye Care services might also be called “routine,” and not impeding a patient from his/her day-to-day activities, such as:

  • Routine eye exam with no problems
  • First time routine contact lens fittings

As always, our top priority is always your well-being. If you have questions or concerns about any eye health or eye care services – reach out! We are here to help you in any way we can!