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Urgent Care

Person with Something in Her Eye

Red, Pink or Sore Eyes?

We are always willing to help, should you ever experience an eye emergency. Our office provides emergency services for eye infections, eye injuries and other eye urgencies. State of the art equipment allows us to examine the front surface of the eye and also digitally scan inside the eye for infection or damage. We accommodate many eye emergencies such as:

  • Eye infections
  • Foreign materials stuck in the eyes
  • Eye trauma
  • Scratched eyes
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Flashes of light in the vision
  • “Floaters” in the vision
  • Red or painful eyes
  • Dislodged contact lenses
  • Uncomfortable, itchy, or irritated eyes

Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of emergency room visits could have been treated by an optometrist. These ranged from foreign bodies to severe eye allergies to eye infections as the most common reasons for emergency room visits. It is not always necessary to go to an emergency room for eye emergencies. Optometrists are equipped to treat the majority of eye emergencies.

We understand the importance of eye care when you encounter symptoms such as those listed above. These are signs that an immediate evaluation or consultation is necessary – please call us to set one up if you are experiencing an eye emergency of any kind.

Foreign Bodies

A foreign body is something such as an eyelash, sawdust, sand, or dirt can that gets into the eyes. The main symptom is irritation or pain. Depending on what it is and how the injury happened, the foreign body may pierce the eye and cause serious injury or it may simply go away with no long-term problem.

The foreign object may set off an inflammatory cascade, resulting in dilation of the surrounding vessels and subsequent edema of the lids, conjunctiva, and cornea. If not removed, a foreign body can cause infection.

If anything is stuck in your eye for more than a period of a couple of hours, you must immediately cease all attempts to remove it yourself. Keep in mind that the eyes are an extremely delicate organ and any attempts to try anything extraordinary with them can only have negative and adverse results. If the foreign body you are talking about is not bothering you too much, then you are advised to visit an eye doctor to take care of it. If not you may need to call to emergency service of your region.

How Can An Eye Doctor Help?

If there is a foreign body in your eye, such as a piece of grit, your eye doctor may try and remove it. They will put anesthetic eye drops in your eye first, in order to numb it and prevent any pain.

If the foreign body is easy to get to, it may be possible to remove it by simply rinsing your eye with water, or by wiping it away with a cotton wool bud or triangle of card. However, if this is unsuccessful, your eye doctor may try and remove the foreign body by lifting it out with the tip of a small metal instrument.

The foreign body could be stuck underneath your upper eyelid, especially if you can feel something there, or you have scratches or grazes (abrasions) on the top half of the transparent outer layer of your eye (cornea). If this is the case, it may be necessary to gently turn your eyelid inside out in order to remove the foreign body.

Once the anesthetic eye drops have worn off, your eye may feel a bit uncomfortable until your abrasion heals.

Whatever is happening with your eyes or if you suffer or even suspect that a foreign body has penetrated the outer eye layer better go without delay to the nearest treatment center. Doing nothing can lead to loss of vision, premature cataracts and damage to the retina so do not take any chances, delay is dangerous.

Richie ReOpeningPlan WebsitePopUp

Dear Friends,

Although Richie Eye Clinic has remained open for urgent and emergent care through this tough time, Governor Walz has now declared that Minnesotans can resume routine eye visits and elective eye surgeries. We are ready with our “new normal.” Here is our plan:

  1. We ask all patients entering the clinic to bring your own cloth mask or face covering. We have a limited supply for those who do not have their own. Our team will “masked up” as well.
  2. Upon arrival, we will ask you some screening questions, check your temperature, and ask you to sanitize your hands. If you have a cough, cold, fever, or just don’t feel good, please stay home.
  3. Feel free to use our new virtual check-in; call or text us from your car and we will advise you when we are ready to escort you to a room.
  4. As always, we sanitize each room after every patient.
  5. Our Optical is open to serve you by appointment
  6. Please practice “social distancing” during your entire visit.

We are excited to add that our Northfield location will resume clinic hours starting Monday May 18th, as well.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Mike Richie