Eye Emergencies

Need an urgent visit? If you feel you have experienced an eye injury or if you feel something is suddenly wrong with your eyes needing immediate attention, please contact our office at 865-687-1232. We will examine your eyes thoroughly to diagnose the problem and treat it effectively, alleviating your painful symptoms and helping prevent vision complications.

Emergencies During Non-Business Hours

If you have an eye emergency when our office is closed, please call our office and follow the prompts to leave a detailed message using the situations below as a guide.

Once we have received your message, your situation will be assessed and you will receive a return call from the doctor if immediate care is necessary.

If immediate care is not necessary you will receive a return call from our staff the next open business day.

How can I recognize when I need emergency eye care? 

Many people wonder when to seek medical care versus simply waiting for their eye symptoms to improve. Here is a basic list of eye emergency symptoms, so you know when to contact one of our Knoxville locations:

  • Pain that does not subside
  • Foreign material in your eye
  • Burns on your eye or eyelid
  • Sudden vision loss
  • New double vision that persists
  • New extreme sensitivity to light
  • Seeing flashes of light increasing in intensity over 15 minutes

Your vision is valuable – don’t take risks with your eyes! If you experience any of the above symptoms of an eye emergency, contact us to schedule an urgent eye visit. If we detect a serious medical condition that may require an ophthalmologist or eye surgeon, we will refer you to a leading local specialist.

red eye

What should I do if something is stuck in my eye?

If a small object, such as a stray eyelash or some grains of sand, gets stuck in your eye, you can attempt to remove it on your own. First of all, do not rub your eyes, because it can exacerbate the problem. Then follow these helpful steps:

  1. Wash your hands well with soap
  2. Look in a mirror to locate the object
  3. Blink hard; your tears may wash the object out.
  4. If the object is lodged behind your upper eyelid, pull your upper lid forwards and over the lower eyelid. Then look upward, which can push the object off the upper lid.
  5. If the object is under your lower eyelid or in the corner of your eye, use a damp cloth or piece of cotton to remove it gently.
  6. Flush the object out. Fill a small glass (or eyecup, if you have one) with lukewarm water, and place your eye over the cup. While keeping your eye open, rinse it. Alternatively, you can pour lukewarm water into your eye to flush it out.

Eyes are delicate! If you cannot remove the item easily on your own, do not persist. Our emergency eye care doctor will use specialized tools and numbing eye drops in order to extract the item safely.

For eye injury, trauma, or eye infection – do not delay in seeking emergency eye care. Early treatment can prevent damage to your vision.