As temperatures drop and cold, flu, and coronavirus cases rise, it might be unnerving to think about going into a doctor’s office, and you may feel routine eye care can or should be put off. Keeping your regular eye exam appointment is important for adults as well as children. Exams make sure your eyes stay healthy and your eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions are current. Having an incorrect prescription can lead to blurry vision and sometimes headaches and neckaches, especially for those of us working or schooling from home and spending more time on the computer. Of course, any eye injury should be addressed immediately, even if you think it is minor.
If you are going to visit one of our practices for a routine exam or if you have an eye health emergency, know that Midwest Eye Consultants takes the wellbeing of our patients and staff very seriously. Staff and doctors are required to check their temperatures before they leave home for work. If they have a fever, if they have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, or if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, they are under strict instructions not to come to work. We follow stringent hygiene and disinfection guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and make the health and safety of all those who enter our practices a top priority.
What to Expect at Your Next Eye Exam Appointment
- To protect the office staff, the other patients and you, we may ask you to wait in your car instead of the waiting room. Limiting close contact is key to helping reduce the spread of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases.
- For children or the elderly, we ask that only one person accompany the patient into the practice. If you do not need someone to be there with you for the appointment, please do not bring anyone into the building with you.
- We clean and disinfect each piece of equipment after each patient’s use.
- Doctors and staff will wear masks and/or face shields while in the practice.
- We clean and disinfect work surfaces, bathrooms, doors, and waiting areas several times throughout the day.
When You Come for Your Appointment
- You should wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth while you are in our practice. If you do not have a mask, one may be provided for you.
- If you need to cough or sneeze during your exam, move back from the slit lamp unit. Bury your face in the crook of your arm or cover your face with a tissue.
- If you have a cough or a fever or have been in close contact with someone who has these symptoms, please call us before you come in. If your visit is not an emergency, we may ask that you reschedule your appointment.
- If you arrive sick, we may ask you to return home if your visit is not an emergency.
- If you are in urgent need of eye care, you may be asked to wait in a room away from other patients. The clinic staff and doctor may wear additional protective equipment when treating you, such as gowns and gloves.
Indications that You Should See Your Optometrist Immediately
- If you notice changes in your vision like blurriness or inability to focus, or wavy or blank spots in your field of vision.
- If you have an injury to your eye.
- If you notice a burning sensation in your eyes, pain, or excessive dryness.
- If you notice floaters or flashes, or you suddenly lose part of your vision.
- If you have a red eye, discharge from your eye, or eye pain, especially if associated with headache, nausea, or vomiting.
- If you think you may have conjunctivitis (pink eye).
If you experience any of the above symptoms or any other persistent eye problem, do not wait. Call our office right away to schedule an appointment for an exam and evaluation of your eye issues.
Stock Up on Your Eye Medication
Since we will all be getting out less in the coming months, we also suggest you stock up on essential eye medications so you will have enough to get by if you are quarantined or if supplies become limited during an outbreak. Check to see if your insurance will allow you to get more than one month of your prescriptions at a time. During times of national emergency or natural disaster, some insurers will approve up to a three-month supply of medication. Ask your pharmacist for help if you have trouble getting approval from your insurance company. Do not wait until the last minute to order a refill of your medication; request a refill as soon as you are due. If you have any questions about your vision or the eye medication you are taking, give our office a call.
Midwest Eye Consultants is always available for routine eye health visits or to treat any eye health emergencies for you or your family. You can be comfortable knowing your safety is our primary concern and we will be doing our utmost to keep you protected and healthy when you come in for your appointment.