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Home » What's New » Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

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On April 22, the American Optometric Association (AOA) urged patients with emergency eye care needs to get in touch with their local optometrist prior to seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms. Doing so not only eases the burden on emergency departments but also helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

What Is Considered an Eye Emergency?

Most eye-related conditions can be treated in an outpatient optometry office or clinic. Emergency eye care includes, but is not limited to, urgent clinical advice or intervention for eye injuries and conditions that entail a foreign object in the eye, chemical burns, a sudden change in vision, flashes and floaters (which might suggest a retinal detachment), contact lens discomfort, red eyes and any other problems or symptoms that may impact or interfere with daily activities. 

Prioritizing Your Eye Care Needs During COVID-19

During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been going above and beyond to ensure that people are receiving the emergency eye care they need. 

 

Patients should first contact Patterson Eye Clinic for guidance and potential treatment prior to heading to an overwhelmed hospital emergency room. Dr. Peter Nardone can assess the level of care the patient needs—whether it's telehealth or urgent care that requires a visit to the eye clinic or, in severe cases, even the emergency room. 

 

This will ensure that patients get prompt treatment while allowing hospitals to conserve their resources for the current pandemic. In fact, research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors' offices can potentially divert 1.4 million patients away from emergency rooms per year.

 

While we have closed our store for routine appointments, Patterson Eye Clinic at Richmond continues to provide emergency care for those who need it. We'd like to reassure our patients that we are here to help with anyone’s emergency eye care requirements – for both for new and existing patients.

 

 

References:

 

https://www.visionmonday.com/eyecare/coronavirus-briefing/crisis-response-tactics/article/aoa-cautions-patients-against-avoidable-er-visits-for-primary-eyecare-services-during-covid19-pandemic/

Dear valued Patterson Eye Clinic patients:

We are open for normal business hours as of May 11, 2020. Essential and preventative eye care, as well as optical services, will resume immediately. Many patients are overdue for eye care. We will make every effort to schedule your examination promptly while also continuing to use safety and social distancing measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Our top priority is to provide a safe, clinical environment for our patients and team. All patients, doctors, and staff are screened via temperature checks and oxygen level testing upon entering the clinic. Our staff and doctors are required to wear personal protective equipment while administrating care. We are also requesting that all patients wear a mask when visiting the clinic. All rooms, work surfaces, and instruments are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between patients. We have changed procedures to reduce time in the office, including adjusting patient scheduling to maximize social distancing. Telehealth care and curbside pick-ups will also continue to still be available.

We are grateful for your patience during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Peter Nardone, O.D.

Laurel Loukx, O.D.

Jon Stoller, O.D.

Taylor Dalton, O.D.

Patterson Eye Clinic