The general public has a variety of misconceptions about eye care. In this social media-driven world we live in, there are so many businesses and individuals that have your attention. Some will have your best interest in mind, while others see an opportunity to take advantage of a billion dollar industry. It is important that you get your information, technology and education on your health from a trusted resource. The “Eye Care Myths – Debunked” series will help you sort through the facts and increase your knowledge on eye health.
Myth 4: “My eye is RED. I need to head to urgent care or the ER.”
Urgent Care clinics are incredibly useful resources for both patients and providers. They can nip minor issues in the bud and can be on the front lines for something severe that needs more advanced attention from a specialist. However, if a patient knows which part of the body is involved and has easy access to a provider that focuses on that part, it is certainly in their best interest to go straight to that specific provider.
If experiencing a red eye, a new floater, or sudden changes to the eyes or vision, seek care from an eyecare provider. If there is something in the eye or trauma was recently experienced in or around the eye, seek care from an eyecare provider. If you’re experiencing a toothache or oral pain, you’re not likely to visit an urgent care or an emergency room. You’re going to call your dentist or orthodontist. To the same degree, if you are having an eye-related problem, call your optometrist or primary eye care provider.
In our office, we are the front lines for medical eye care needs and vision disease. We encourage patients to come in with any urgent eyecare issues that arise during normal business hours. Appointments for these issues are not required. If the urgent eyecare issue occurs during non-business hours, we are accessible via an urgent care phone number or through our website portal. It is important, in these cases, that the proper equipment is used to evaluate the eye health and vision. This will pave the way for a most accurate assessment which will result in proper treatment protocol and follow-up, as needed. It all starts with contacting the proper provider for the urgent medical issue you are experiencing. Take advantage of your preferred urgent care clinic, but when the eyes are involved make your eyecare provider your first point of contact.
Jared Most, OD