Edwin Y. Endo, OD Optometrists, Eye Doctors Of Honolulu

Leading Provider in Professional Optometry Eye Care and highly regarded establishment offering state of the art Practice & progressive Vision eye exams with Excellence. The Art of Caring.

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AOA Cautions Patients Against Avoidable ER Visits for Primary Eyecare Services During COVID-19 Pandemic 

ST. LOUIS—The American Optometric Association (AOA) said in an announcement Wednesday that it is encouraging patients with urgent or emergency eyecare needs to contact their local doctor of optometry before seeking treatment in emergency rooms. These actions will help reduce burdens on emergency departments as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve and places unprecedented strain on the U.S. health care system, as well as combatting further community spread and a wider outbreak. "Most eye-related conditions reported in local emergency departments may be treatable in an outpatient optometry office or clinic," AOA president Barbara L. Horn, OD, said in the announcement.

"When it comes to eye-related emergencies, patients should first contact their local doctor of optometry for guidance and possible treatment before heading to an already-overwhelmed hospital emergency room."  

Urgent or emergent care needs may include those related to systemic and ocular disease or injury where there is significant risk of permanent vision loss because of any postponement of care. It also may include visits where patients are experiencing discomfort, blurry vision, changes in vision, or other symptoms that significantly impact or interfere with day-to-day activities, the AOA announcement noted.

While many optometry offices have restricted their in-person visits and procedures to urgent and emergency patients only for the next several weeks, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), doctors of optometry are able to assess the level of care the patient needs—whether it's telehealth or urgent care that requires a visit to the doctor's office or ER—to ensure they get the appropriate treatment while allowing hospitals to make the best use of their available resources, AOA noted.

"Research shows treating eye emergencies at eye doctors' offices can potentially divert 1.4 million patients away from ERs each year," Dr. Horn said. "Easing the burden on local emergency departments and conserving much-needed resources is especially critical at this time and as frontline providers, doctors of optometry are rising to the challenge by assuring continued access to essential health care nationwide.”

Eye Emergencies require immediate attention:

If you are experiencing an eye emergency, contact us right away for specific guidelines on what to do at (808) 487-5500. Our optometrist are able to treat most eye emergencies including; chemical burns, objects lodged in the eye, scratches or cuts in the eye, injuries to the eye, eye trauma, eye infections, eye pain or vision loss. Call us during business hours for specific advice for your emergency. If your reach our after hours voicemail and are unsure as to the urgency of the situation please use your best judgment and visit the closest emergency room.

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Critical Symptoms include an eye emergency when symptoms happen suddenly and are the result of eye trauma or they affect your vision noticeably. Symptoms range from eye pain to vision loss. This can be the result of many different factors such as a blow to the eye, objects in the eye, chemicals in the eye, or an eye infection.

Critical Symptoms:

  • Eye infection
  • Painful eyes
  • Loss of Vision
  • Diplopia-Double Vision
  • Swelling or bulging eyes
  • A new or a severe headache
  • Bruising around the eye
  • Eye Trauma
  • Scratch or cut in the eye
  • Blood in the eye
  • Non-uniform pupils
  • Blood in the eye
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Eye Discharge

If you experience any of these symptoms, please visit the closest emergency room immediately and contact our office for advice and referral to the appropriate specialists. Do not delay!

Emergency Eye First Aid

Different eye emergencies require different first aid care. Contact our office for specific instructions on what to do for your eye emergency.

Large Foreign Objects

Ex: glass metal, grass clippings, gravel

  • Do not touch.
  • Do not remove.
  • Do not apply pressure.
  • Cover both eyes lightly, if possible, to prevent movement and further damage.
  • Emergency care should be sought immediately.


Chemical Burns

You should seek medical attention right away if you experience chemical burns. While you are waiting for transportation to the emergency facility, flush your eyes directly with water. Attempt to remove contacts from your eyes. Taking chemical burns seriously is important because some products can cause permanent vision damage. Contact our office and/or go to the  emergency room for assistance.

  • Flush the eye immediately using water. Run water in the eye for at least 15 minutes. Make sure to keep the eye open as widely as possible.
  • Do not remove contact lenses prior to flushing; they may come out during flushing.
  • Do not bandage the eye
  • Seek emergency care immediately after flushing

Examples of chemical burns:

  • Gasoline
  • Fertilizer
  • Perfume
  • Cleaners
  • Concrete mortar
  • Residue from plants


Small foreign Objects

Try to flush small foreign objects, such as dirt, dust, or sand, from your eye right away with water or saline. Using clean hands, do not rub or scratch the eye. Try to attempt looking under the lids by flipping them up. If you are not able to flush the object out with saline or water, contact your eye care professional right away.

Ex: dust, sand, eyelash

  • Do not rub-this can cause scratching.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands before touching your eye.
  • Blinking or natural tearing can sometimes flush the object. If it doesn’t flush with those, rinse the eye with water or saline.
  • Lifting your upper lid and looking down towards the floor may help remove the object.
  • Do not attempt to remove the object with tweezers or other objects.
  • If, after attempting to flush the eye, the object does not come out, or if irritation continues, see your eye care professional immediately.


Blows to the Eye

Ex: hit by a bat or racket, struck in the eye, hit by a flying object

  • Apply a cold compress while avoiding pressure.
  • Do not use raw meat because this can increase the risk of infection.
  • Seek medical care asap especially if you experience pain, blurry vision, bulging eye, blood in the eye or a black eye.


Cut or Scratched Eye

Scratching to the eye can cause serious damage if not dealt with properly. The most urgent cause for concern is an infection. Most scratches heal fine under the supervision of an eye care professional, but seeking care immediately is important. Contact our office for assistance and guidance when dealing with scratches to the eyes.

  • Do not touch.
  • Do not remove any objects from the eye.
  • Seek medical care immediately.


Eye Bleeding (Popped Blood Vessel)

This type of eye problem can be caused by even the slightest impact of the eye or the surrounding area. It is known as “subconjunctival hemorrhage” and is not an emergency unless combined with other symptoms. If you experience other symptoms with a popped blood vessel, contact our office for assistance.


Swollen or Black Eye

Usually, a black or swollen eye looks worse than it is. Black eyes can be caused by a number of different things including sports injuries or impact to the eye or the surrounding areas. It is important to seek care from an optometrist to check for damage. Contact our office to determinine the amount of damage done to the eye due to a black eye.


Styes (Internal Hordeolums)

Styes are bumps near the eyelid or lash line. They are caused by inflammation or infection of the eyelash follicle. It is best to treat with medication asap. To treat at home, using warm-hot compresses to alleviate the pain and discomfort. If the stye does clear up on its own after a couple of days, Antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics may be required and is best to use in the early stage to prevent enlargement which may require longer treatment and/or excision.




Pink Eye Or Other Eye Infections, Corneal Foreign Bodies, Scratches To The Eye


Pink Eye / Other Eye Infections

Pink eye can be described as viral or bacterial including symptoms such as red, itchy eyes and discharge from the eye. A viral infection is highly contagious, and you should seek care from an optometrist in order to determine treatment. Not all causes of red eyes are contagious though. Contact our office for assistance with pink eye and other eye infections.


Corneal Foreign Bodies

Objects that do not belong in the eye end up there, on occasion, anyways. It is important that if you cannot flush an object from the eye with water or saline, that you seek immediate medical care. In order to prevent corneal scratching, do not rub the eye and make sure to have clean hands before attempting to flush the object. Contact our office if you are unable to flush any foreign objects from the eye.


Scratches To The Eye

Scratching to the eye can cause serious damage if not dealt with properly. The most urgent cause for concern is an infection. Most scratches heal fine under the supervision of an eye care professional, but seeking care immediately is important. Contact our office with assistance and guidance when dealing with scratches to the eyes.


What is the most important thing to do if I have an eye emergency?

The most important thing is to not panic. Most eye emergencies are treated successfully by our optometrist. If you are concerned please call our office, if it is after hours please use your judgment regarding visiting an emergency room or urgent care facility. 


Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye or an eye infection, is a common eye emergency.

Does it like something’s in your eye? If your eye is red and tearing, you may have scratched your eye. You should never rub your eye.

Please visit our office if you are experiencing red eyes, pink eye, or scratched & swollen eyes for immediate attention.

If your child experienced any kind of trauma to the eye through sports or other activities, look for the following symptoms and come to our office for an evaluation/treatment.