For URGENT appointments, please call the clinic to schedule.

Emergency Eye Care

Rocky Mountain Eye Center -  - Ophthalmology

Rocky Mountain Eye Center

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte & Helena, MT

Other than an obvious traumatic injury, it’s sometimes hard to determine when your eyes need emergency care. The experts at Rocky Mountain Eye Center, with locations in Missoula, Hamilton, Helena, and Butte, Montana, encourage their patients to schedule a visit whenever they’re concerned about their eye health. There are a few conditions, however, that require medical attention sooner rather than later. Significant eye pain, sudden vision loss, and signs of a worsening eye infection can all require emergency care. Schedule a visit today.

Emergency Eye Care Q & A

When Should I Seek Emergency Eye Care?

Any time you have a foreign object embedded in your eye, cuts around your eye or across the eye itself, or blunt-trauma from a blow sustained during an accident or altercation, you should be evaluated by one of our optometrists as soon as possible. Significant injuries may require further treatment from one of our onsite ophthalmologists. Rocky Mountain Eye Center has a physician on-call 24/7.

When Should I Call the Eye Doctor?

Don’t hesitate to call Rocky Mountain Eye Center whenever you experience eye symptoms that are concerning. These may include:

  • Mild to severe eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Red, irritated, dry, and inflamed eyes
  • A sensation of a foreign object in your eyes
  • Sudden onset of intense eye pain
  • Partial or total vision loss
  • Light sensitivity
  • Significant redness on the lids or skin under your eyes


Signs that may signal a pending retinal detachment, which requires urgent medical care to save your vision, include:

  • Sudden increase of floaters in your visual field
  • Flashing lights in your vision
  • A darkening or shadow effect across your visual field
  • Dark areas in your peripheral (side) vision


A completely detached retina causes total vision loss in the affected eye. Surgery to repair detached and torn retinas is provided at the Rocky Mountain Eye Surgery Center in Missoula.

What Other Conditions Cause Eye Care Emergencies?

There are many conditions that may require urgent medical attention for relief from the symptoms you’re experiencing and treatment for the underlying issue. These conditions may include:

  • Eye infections
  • Diabetic retinopathy, which damages the blood vessels nourishing the retina
  • Glaucoma, which causes increased pressure inside the eye and can damage the optic nerve
  • Retinopathy related to high blood pressure


You may be tempted to wait and see if an eye infection clears on its own. However, numerous eye infections can do great damage if left untreated. Uveitis, for instance, is often caused by an infection that inflames the middle-inside portion of your eye.

Uveitis can lead to glaucoma, retinal detachment, or cataracts. Symptoms of uveitis include light sensitivity, eye pain, and redness. Treatment includes steroids to reduce inflammation and antibiotics to treat the infection. Self-care won’t negate the risks of uveitis and other dangerous eye infections.

Don’t wait. Schedule an appointment at Rocky Mountain Eye Center today. Call the office nearest you or book your visit online.