COVID-19 and Eyecare

CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19
AND EYECARE

Due to the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) pandemic, there are many unanswered questions in regards to the Corona Virus and the eyes.  As we are told not to touch our face (Especially the Eyes, Nose, and Mouth), many patients are concerned about contacts lenses because of touching your face and placing a contact lens (which is a medical device) physically on the eye.  It is also an important note to get information from a reputable source and official sources such as the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and NIH (National Institute of Health) because there can be misinformation that circulates.

WEARING CONTACTS

Woman putting on contact lenses

You should be able to wear your contacts as usual.  However, you must take extra care to wash your hands with soap and water prior to insertion and removal. You must be vigilant with hygiene when handling contact lenses and follow your regular instructions for inserting or removing your contact lenses.  If you have concerns or doubts about wearing contact lenses, consider switching temporarily to eyeglasses.  Eyeglasses “may” act as a minor barrier/shield from viral droplets and “may” provide your eyes with some protection (some protection is better than no protection)

GENERAL RULES

  • Avoid touching your face (Especially your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth) during the day.
  • Keep you work area clean by using Lysol wipes, using Isopropyl Alcohol(70% or greater) and wipes, or any disinfectant listed by the CDC effective against bacteria and viruses.
  • Be sure that all of your contact lens accessories (cases, cleaners, solutions, etc) are clean.
  • Before inserting or removing your contact lenses, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds:
    • Step 1: Wet your hands with water
    • Step 2: Apply soap to your hands and scrub them for 20 seconds without rinsing any soap from your hands.  Don’t forget to scrub your thumb, each individual finger, between your finger, and the front and back side of your hand and wrist.
    • Step 3: Rinse and rub your hands under the water until the soap is gone
    • Step 4: Dry your hands with a lint-free paper towel or clean cloths.
    • Step 5: Touch nothing else but your lenses and your contact lens case, cleaners and solutions until you are done.

COMMON QUESTIONS

CAN I STILL USE MY ARTIFICIAL TEARS OR ANY EYE DROPS IN THE EYE?

Most of the same rules apply to eye drops as to wearing contact lenses especially the hand washing steps.   Common sense would be a good general rule and a good guideline.

SHOULD I STILL GO TO MY EYE EXAM?

The most important factor is Health and Safety.

Here are some questions to ask yourself and reconsider going to your exam if you are answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Are you experiencing any flu or cold-like symptoms: fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, loss of smell and taste, etc.
  • Have you recently traveled to OR been exposed to others who has traveled to such countries as China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, European nations, or other parts of the United States with high numbers of Corona Virus outbreaks?
  • Are you over 65 years of age AND have any underlying health conditions (such as weakened immune system, respiratory condition) that would make you susceptible to getting sick more easily.
  • Have you had contact with others known to have the Corona Virus and should be in 14 day quarantine.

For the safety of others and the general public, it would be best to reschedule your appointment by calling us at 323-264-2015.

PICKING UP YOUR NEW GLASSES AND FRAME ADJUSTMENTS

Because of Social Distancing and at the current pandemic, we will still be able dispense glasses to you.  However, we have Ceased adjustments temporarily until further notice.  There may be direct person to person contact during an adjustment and staff is situated inches apart from a patient.

IF YOUR APPOINTMENT IS NOT URGENT

If your appointment is not urgent and can wait, then please call us to reschedule your appointment for a later time.

IS IT SAFE TO GET SEE MY EYE DOCTOR ONCE THE OFFICE IS ALLOWED TO REOPEN?

For the health and safety of our patients and staff, we have implemented a new healthy, clean and safe disinfection process.  Our patient’s safety is of great important to us.  We practice in a safe and clean environment and take pride in our cleanliness.  If you have any safety concerns what so ever, please do not hesitate to bring up your concerns so we have the opportunity to address it.  We want you to feel safe visiting our office.

NEW PATIENT PROTOCOLS WHEN ARRIVING AT OUR FRONT DESK

When you arrive, there will be hand sanitizer readily available to use at our front desk.  We highly recommend applying it to your hands before and after signing any necessary forms.

Rest assured that we regularly disinfect our office and our instruments with very effective disinfectants.

SHOULD YOU BRING EXTRA PEOPLE WITH YOU TO YOUR EYE EXAM?

It is highly advised to leave friends and non-essential family members at home.  Parents or guardians should accompany minor children to their appointments.  Caregivers should accompany those that need them.  In general, it would be best to come alone or have the least amount of people accompanying you.

CAN CORONA VIRUS ENTER THE EYE AND PINK EYE?

Coronavirus enters the body through mucous membranes which is found in the eyes, nose, and mouth.  Therefore, if someone with Coronavirus coughs, the mucous droplets can possibly enter your body through the eye as well and nose and mouth.  In addition, if your hands-fingers touch a surface with Coronavirus, then it is possible the virus can enter your body through your eyes from your hand-fingers.   This is an important reason why hand washing is so important.

Pink-eye (Conjuctivitis) can be caused by a number of different viruses, Coronavirus being among the least likely and there has been a study that suggest a low risk of transmission.

UPDATES

News about the Coronavirus is rapidly changing.  We want you to have the information you need to keep your eyes healthy.   If you have questions you do not see answered here, please call our office at 323-264-2015.