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Overland (314) 254-2211

St. Charles (636) 255-8421


Eye Emergencies

If you experience loss of vision, double vision, swelling, infection or any eye emergency, contact us immediately for guidance. We’ll help you with the best treatment to prevent complications and promote long-lasting clear eyesight.

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Eye Emergencies In St. Charles & St. Louis, MO

When confronted with a sudden eye emergency we tend to panic, unsure of what to do, but determined to prevent any long term damage. This page will attempt to clarify for you whether your emergency requires immediate care, can wait until the next business day, or will clear up on its own. It is important to realize this is a general guide and the best bet would be to call our staff who are happy to help clear up for you the best option for your specific symptoms.

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 emergencies.  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. This equipment also allows us to advise about LASIK & Refractive Surgery Co-Management.

Some of the Eye Emergencies We Care For:

✔︎ Eye Infections & Pink Eye
✔︎ Scratched Eyes/Corneal Abrasion
✔︎ Eye Pain, Dry Eye, Itchy Eye
✔︎ Foreign Body/Something Stuck
✔︎ Loss of Vision/Double Vision
✔︎ Trauma to the Eye/Black Eye
✔︎ Contact Lenses Stuck In the Eye
✔︎ Flashes of Light
✔︎ Uncomfortable, Itchy, Red, Watery Eyes
✔︎ Stye

Eye Emergencies

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.

The Eye Emergency Guide: What Should You Do...

Schedule An Appointment With Our Optometrist:

  • Eye Infection and Pink Eye
  • Something stuck in your eye after attempting to remove it.
  • Eye injuries such as a black eye or allergic reaction near the eye.
  • Scratched eye: Don’t touch and call us for an emergency appointment.
  • Chemical Spill: Call us for more information.
  • Eye Pain, red eyes, eye fatigue, itchy eyes, watery eyes.
  • Apply ice, and schedule an eye exam.
  • Eye Bleeding.
  • Stye (a pimple looking spot on the eye)

Visit The nearest Emergency Medical Provider:

  • Objects stuck in the eye that penetrate the eye such as a fish hook or piece of glass.
  • Chemical in the eye, flush with water, call us or proceed to first available medical care facility.
  • For Floaters/Flashing light/Sudden Vision Loss Call our practice or visit a an emergency room.
  • Extreme pain or heavy bleeding from the eye should be seen immediately.

Red, Pink or Sore Eyes?

We are ready to look after ALL of your eye care needs in one location. In addition to the services you already rely on us for such as routine eye exams, contact lenses. designer frames and eyeglasses – think of your Optometrist first for:

  • sore, red, or itchy eyes
  • treatment of “pink eye” and other bacterial infections
  • removal of foreign bodies from the eye (such as wood or metal)
  • treatment of eye allergies or burns
  • emergency eye care

This is convenient and cost effective for your whole family and you can be sure you are receiving the attention of an eye care specialist.


We see many patients who visit with a Stye, a raised bump on the surface of the eye:

  • Styes are contagious
  • Styes are generally not dangerous and will clear up on their own.
  • While Styes may not be of much concern, there are similar conditions that cause bumps on the eye that should have active treatment, therefore it is recommended to see our Optometrist with these symptoms.

Foreign Body Removal

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 emergency service of your region.

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 a 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 anaesthetic 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.

Source: Removing a Foreign Body from Your Eye, article by All rights reserved. Reproduction other than for one-time personal use is strictly prohibited.

The quick reference for removing things stuck in your eye:

In the case of a chemical spill rinse with running water for 15-30 minutes then call your local Optometrist.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Do not rub your eye.
  3. Try to have someone identify where in your eye the object is located.
  4. If the object is under the upper lid, place the upper lid over the lower lid and roll your eyes.
  5. Blink your eyes for extended periods of time.
  6. If the object is not under your upper eyelid, attempt to gently wipe it with a wet piece of cotton.
  7. Place your eye under room temperature running water and rinse out the eye.
Molly Huck Lamprecht, O. D.
dr schmitz seated close up
Born and raised in Southern Illinois, Dr. Sara Schmitz completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry at the Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Missouri – St. Louis College of Optometry. Dr. Schmitz joined Overland Optical Family Eye Care in 2007 and...

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