DP Eyecare Column: Eye infections and injuries……who to call?
A: My kids have had their share of pink eye and eye injuries over the years, but I am never sure who to call. Seems too little for a hospital ER, but not really what urgent care offices are made for either. Who should I call?
Q: Yours is a very common question, and one that we eye doctors should address. Generally, you should call your regular eye doctor first.
While many people think their eye doc only prescribes glasses or contact lenses, in reality, most eye doctors also diagnose and treat eye problems as you mention. I suppose it is normal, in that if you have only experienced “vision care” at your eye doctor’s office, you likely assume that is all we do.
In fact, most parts of a “normal” eye exam deal with determining if your eyes are healthy. But many patients already know that their eye doc will diagnose and treat eye injuries, infections, and most every “primary care” need for attention. It has been said that your Optometric Physician is your “family practitioner of eye care”. In our practice, we see patients of all ages, every single day, with some type of eye inflammation or infection, or an injury of some form, or an eye symptom caused by a “systemic” ( non- eye ) disease. Even many medications can cause eye and vision symptoms….and your eye doctor is the best trained to sort out and handle these problems.
You are right, hospital emergency departments are not focused on eye problems. They have life and death issues to handle. While urgent care offices are convenient, they are not equipped or trained to sort out the myriad of problems that present with eye/vision symptoms. We receive a lot of urgent care referrals, and most patients could have saved time and cost by calling their eye doctor in the first place.
Whether you are 5 or 95, your eye doctor is best equipped to take care of your eyes. That’s all we do! Whether it is our biomicroscopes, or our internal eye imaging technology, or just or experience is treating only eyes……eye doctors are the first call you should make for virtually anything involving your eyes.
Call Morgantown Eye Associates on 304-381-5353 to schedule an eye exam with our Morgantown optometrist.
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