Many people are curious if they could get eye care during the pandemic because they fear catching the coronavirus. Certain eye problems require face to face treatment which makes it inevitable to visit your eye doctor. There are precautions to be taken to ensure the health and safety of all people including staff in the clinic.
Social distancing is being enforced to reduce the possible transmission of the virus. Each clinic may have its protocol but they have general guidelines to follow which are the following:
- Instruct the patients to wash their hands as soon as they have arrived in the clinic.
- The number of patients in the waiting room should be decreased.
- The surfaces should be regularly disinfected.
- The staff members should wear their protective equipment (PPE) which includes masks and gloves.
- Do not let a patient roam around without a mask.
- The doctors and nurses should wear ocular and oral shields to protect them from possible virus transmission during close examinations.
- Inform the patients that during the examination, the ophthalmologist will minimize conversation and if possible, the patients should refrain from talking in.
What Are the Additional Precautions Taken at Clinics?
- Patients who have a cold, flu and allergy symptoms are advised to stay home.
- There is a sentry positioned at the door to screen patients who ought to enter.
- Questions about fever, cough, travel history, history of travel of family members must be asked to screen patients.
- Allow patients to have their visit rescheduled if they are sick, have a cough or fever, have traveled recently outside the United States, or possibly be exposed to COVID-19 patients.
- The temperature of patients and staff members that is above 99.5 should be referred to their primary care providers
- The chairs in the waiting room should be positioned 6 feet apart.
- The magazines and beverage area should be removed in the waiting room to prevent virus transmission.
How Can You Maintain Vision Health During Pandemic?
Patients who are suffering from early and dry advanced macular degeneration should consult with their ophthalmologist about their examinations. Home monitoring and choosing a healthy lifestyle choice such as eating an eye-healthy diet and taking AMD supplements should be done continuously.
If you have experienced any vision change, report it right away to your eye care specialist. Vision change can be tracked using an Amsler grid which can be done at home and at least once a week.