Preparing For Your First Eye Appointment Since COVID-19
Chances are if you had an eye appointment scheduled in the spring of 2020 with your optometrist, it was rescheduled and it’s coming up soon. Now that eye care offices are reopened, what should you expect from your next appointment? Here are a few tips to stay safe as well as reasons why it’s important to keep that appointment from Dr. Chad Overman, director of vision benefits for DeltaVision.
Safety tips for your next eye exam
Visiting your eye doctor on a regular basis is important, even if you have 20/20 vision. Our vision can change over time, regardless of our age. Recently, many people working and learning from home due to COVID-19 have increased their screen time and may be experiencing eye strain. In addition, you may have missed a routine eye exam during quarantine. Getting your eyes checked is a necessary and wise use of your time.
“The most important thing to remember is that your appointment with your eye doctor is preventive, so they can spot potential issues with your vision as well as other chronic disease before they become a problem,” said Dr. Overman. “But in order to maximize the safety of you, your doctor’s office and other patients, you need to take precautions.”
Dr. Overman’s suggested checklist for your appointment:
- Wear a mask. If you forget to wear a mask, the eye doctor will likely provide one.
- Check with the clinic one week in advance to see what their safety procedures will be. They may ask you to wait in your car until it’s your turn to avoid crowded waiting areas. They may call in advance to ask routine insurance update questions or ask about needed prescription refills to limit your time in the office.
- Plan to come to your appointment alone, if possible, or have your driver wait outside.
- Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands just before entering the office and after leaving the office.
- Be prepared that your eye doctor and staff will likely be wearing masks and using personal protective equipment such as safety goggles, face shields, gloves and more.
- As always, if you are not feeling well, reschedule your appointment. If you have been around someone who is sick, reschedule your appointment. It’s important to keep your appointments, but if you’re not having issues, don’t risk your health or someone else’s!
Why to prioritize your eye exams, even in the middle of a pandemic
“Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can safely conduct an examination or a treatment that can be critical to maintaining your eye health,” said Dr. Overman. “Certain conditions are time sensitive such as degenerative eye disease or injuries that need to be treated on time, every time.”
Protecting your vision is essential for everyone, and especially for those who:
- are experiencing a sudden change in vision in one or both eyes;
- have injured their eye or the facial area around the eye;
- are having pain or redness in your eye;
- are experiencing floaters or flashes in your eyes;
- have a diagnosed condition like macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
In these situations, it’s essential to contact your eye care provider immediately and follow their direction. Even if you’ve been quarantining and social distancing, it’s okay to seek medical care for ongoing or new issues. With the right preparation and personal protective equipment like a face covering, you can receive the care and direction you need from your eye care professional.
For more information eye health and safety from DeltaVision, visit our blog, A Healthy Life.