Besides being uncomfortable, eye problems or infections can worsen and affect your vision and overall eye health if left untreated. Additionally, some eye infections can be very contagious, so it is important to seek treatment immediately. One of the most common eye infections we treat at TGH Urgent Care in Tampa, Florida, is “pink eye,” or conjunctivitis, which can easily be spread through hand-to-eye contact.
The best way to prevent eye infections and minimize their spread is to wash your hands thoroughly and often, not touch your face, and avoid close contact with infected people.
Urgent care can be needed for eye infections.
Eye problems that we have seen at our urgent care walk-in clinics in Tampa:
1. Conjunctivitis “Pink Eye.” This is an infection of the eyes that can lead to blurred vision, redness, and swelling. Please note it is contagious and can easily be spread through hand-to-eye contact.
2. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). This disorder is where the eyes become dry, crusty, and irritated, often accompanied by redness and severe headache.
3. Acanthamoeba keratitis. This is a rare complication caused by an infection from the slime mold Acanthamoeba bacteria that attacks the cornea, leading to blindness.
4. Pterygium. This is an overgrowth of the conjunctiva (the membrane that covers the eyeball) that may obstruct light, vision, or pain when trying to open your eyes wide or look away from bright light.
How to identify an Eye Infection needing Urgent Care?
If you have an eye infection that is causing you significant pain or discomfort, you should go to the emergency room. However, if the problem is not life-threatening and can be treated at home, you may be able to visit any of our Walk-in Urgent Care Clinics near you if you are in or around Tampa, FL. Here are some tell-tale signs that you may need to come to see an urgent care doctor:
1. You have a sudden decrease in vision or sensitivity in one or both eyes.
2. Your eye feels like it is burning or itchiness when you woke up in the morning.
3. You experience blurred vision, glare, or a loss of color while looking directly at light sources such as windows.
4. You notice floaters (small pieces of debris that appear as though they are floating in your field of vision) or flashing lights when you close your eyes.
5. You experience sudden changes in your pupil size (which can indicate damage to the optic nerve).
6. You have had recent surgery on your eyes or other related medical procedures such as cataract-removal surgery.
7. You have a family history of eye problems.
How to treat an Eye Infection?
If you have an eye problem that is causing you significant pain, affects your vision, or requires immediate attention, you should go to an urgent care center. Urgent care centers are specialized clinics that can provide quick and affordable treatment for various medical conditions. Some common urgent care eye problems include:
-A foreign body in the eye
-An infection in the eye
-A sudden increase in pressure in the eye
-A severe headache due to a problem with the eyes
SYMPTOMS OF AN EYE INFECTION?
An eye infection may be caused by a virus such as an adenovirus, which is often responsible for the common cold. Viral pink eye is not itchy or painful. In this case, the eye discharge is goopy, yellow, or green. Patients wake up with crusty eyes, which go away after wiping them and don’t return until the next nap or sleep.
Bacteria or an allergy can also cause infections of the eye. Bacterial pink eye is painful and has a yellowish discharge that returns quickly after wiping it. Allergic pink eye is itchy and has a watery discharge.
Symptoms of an emergency eye care situation?
- Bright light or pain in your eye
- Flashing lights or blindness
- A sudden change in vision
- A foreign body in your eye
When should you go to the emergency room?
A hospital emergency room should be contacted if you experience blurred vision, light sensitivity, or other visual disturbances or develop eye pain after a head injury. If you have a foreign object or chemical in your eye, a detached retina, a scratch, or a cut on your eyeball or eyelid, you may be dealing with a more serious issue than an eye infection.
– A sudden increase in eye pain or pressure
– A red or swollen eye
– Vision that changes suddenly
– Sudden blindness in one or both eyes
– Severe headache
-Nausea or vomiting
-Tearing or pain when opening the eye
How Do We Treat Eye Infections at TGH Urgent Care in South Tampa
After the examination of your eye infection by one of our doctors at TGH Urgent Care Powered by Fast Track, the appropriate treatment can be administered. Your doctor might prescribe steroid drops for the infection, an oral antibiotic, or eye drops for redness or irritation.
Essential oils are not recommended as they may cause the infection to spread. While you wait for the infection to clear up, it’s important to prevent further damage and maintain healthy eye tissue by avoiding contact lenses and wearing less eye makeup while you have symptoms. You can use a moist warm compress as needed and an over-the-counter pain reliever or artificial tears.
How can you prepare for an emergency?
If you ever experience an emergency situation that requires immediate attention to your eye care, here are some tips on how to prepare:
1. Know the signs and symptoms of an emergency eye care situation. If you notice any symptoms, seek medical attention immediately: redness, tearing, discharge, vision changes, or decreased vision.
2. Have all of your identification information handy in case you need to get treated quickly. This includes your driver’s license number, social security number, birth date, and insurance information.
3. Make sure you have enough money on hand to cover any costs associated with the emergency eye care situation. This includes transportation costs if you must be transported to a hospital from the clinic for treatment.
4. Make copies of all important documents, including your driver’s license and health insurance cards, in case you lose them during the emergency eye care situation.
We’re Ready to Help
Our urgent care centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., so you can receive the care you deserve without having to re-shuffle your day.
When you visit, you can count on our experienced medical staff at TGH Urgent Care powered by FAST TRACK, for any non-emergency eye infection treatment and other urgent care services. Visit one of the closest locations of our walk-in clinics in Tampa, FL, to get the care you need. With our convenient On My Way system, you can sign in before visiting any of our Tampa, FL, facilities and shorten your wait time.