Emergency Eye Care

Have an eye emergency? We can help.

Optometrists are great emergency eye care providers. At Dr. Gowen, O.D. and Associates, we offer Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding area specialized emergency eye treatment that’s more reliable than an ER or urgent care office.

Skip the wait, cost and germs of the ER or urgent care. Call us for quick, expert emergency eye care.

What counts as an eye care emergency?

An eye care emergency can be anything that suddenly affects your vision or causes trauma to your eyes. This includes eye infections, chemical exposure, and foreign objects. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should call right away:

New floaters or flashes in vision

Persistent eye pain

Severe sensitivity to light

Vision loss or double vision

Severe eyelid swelling

Burning or itchy eyes

Not sure if it’s an emergency? Give the eye care specialists at Dr. Gowen, O.D. & Associates a call. Our expert team will help you determine if you need a same-day eye appointment and we will fit you into our schedule.

What should I know about eye emergencies and symptoms?

If you have any concerns about an eye injury or trauma, you should call us and schedule an emergency appointment. When in doubt, it is best to be seen by your eye doctor. Depending on your situation, there might be some additional things to keep in mind to help treat your symptoms.
Chemical Burn
If you experience a chemical burn in your eyes, the very first thing to do is flush your eye immediately with lukewarm water for 15 minutes. This removes any lingering chemicals in the area and could reduce the risk of long term damage.

When you come in for your emergency appointment, try to bring the chemical label with you to help us diagnose and treat you.

Foreign Object in the Eye

A foreign object in the eye can be anything from a particle of dust to a metal shard. Your eyes naturally blink and tear to flush foreign items away. For things like stray eyelashes, that is enough to clear things up. However, larger items or objects propelled at high speed can be more difficult to remove.  

If you feel something stuck in your eye that isn’t naturally clearing away, there are some steps you can take to help the situation:

  • If you are wearing contact lenses, remove the lens. Sometimes irritants can be stuck to the lens itself. Use a lens cleaning solution to ensure that your contacts are free from contaminants.
  • Flush the affected eye with a gentle stream of warm, clean water. You can do this with a medicine dropper, at the sink with a small drinking cup, or jump in the shower. 
  • Avoid rubbing the eye, as this can increase irritation and possible damage.

Do not attempt to remove a foreign object in your eye if:

  • Gentle flushing is not working to remove it
  • It is embedded in the eye or sticking out between the eyelids
  • You are experiencing abnormal vision 
  • It contains chemicals
  • It has sharp or rough edges

In any of these cases, it’s important to call our office immediately so that we can prevent infection or vision loss.  

On your way to our office, you can help the situation by restricting eye movement. Loosely cover the eye with a clean cloth bandage or a paper cup. If possible, covering the uninjured eye as well can help prevent eye movement in the damaged eye.

Eye Flashes and Floaters

Eye floaters are the faint shapes or squiggles that float across your field of vision, like dust on a camera lens. You might notice them more when you look at the sky or a blank wall. Eye flashes can look like lightning bolts, fireworks, or bright spots in your field of vision.  

Floaters occur naturally as you get older. They become more frequent as part of the natural aging process, and don’t automatically require treatment. However, a sudden increase in flashes or floaters can be the symptoms of more serious conditions that could damage your sight, like retinal tears or detachment. 

If you are concerned about an increase in eye floaters or flashes, please call our office. We can help determine if your situation is an emergency that requires urgent attention.

How can I prevent future eye emergencies?

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Some changes in vision are caused by aging or other natural causes, but some can be avoided. Here are some tips to ensure that your visits with us aren’t all emergency situations:

Wear eye protection when appropriate for sporting activities and operating power tools.

Always wash your hands before touching your eyes.

Clean your contact lenses regularly to prevent irritants.

Keep a pair of back up glasses, so that losing or breaking your main pair doesn’t become an emergency situation.

Store sharp tools securely, and provide supervision when children need to use them.


We are here to help.

At Joseph Gowen OD & Associates, we are committed to protecting the vision and meeting all of the eye care needs for the Pueblo, Colorado area. If you find yourself stuck with an eye emergency, call us. We will fit you in for a same-day appointment and work together to resolve your symptoms.

So you can stop worrying and get back to seeing clearly.

You deserve accessible, affordable, and, above all, quality eyecare with someone you can see again and again. That’s why we’ve been practicing in Pueblo since 2012, working alongside Eyemart Express to serve all your eyecare needs.