The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s daily habits, their work routine, and even their healthcare practices. With most of California under extended Shelter in Place orders, it is natural for people to ask, “Should I get an eye exam during COVID?”
The ophthalmologists at Monterey County Eye Associates have continued offering eye care for patients in urgent need during stay at home orders. We will eventually resume non-urgent eye exams and elective procedures for our patients from Monterey, CA, Salinas, King City, and surrounding areas. Below we discuss scheduling an eye exam during the pandemic, and what we do to keep patients and staff safe.
Safety Measures to Protect Our Patients
Our patients’ safety and health has always been our top priority at Monterey County Eye Associates. In response to COVID-19, we have enacted many additional protocols to enhance patient safety, including:
- Implementing physical distancing in our office
- Practicing disinfectant measures
- Requiring patients and staff to wear masks that cover the nose and mouth
- Asking patients not to bring companions or family members along to appointments
- Asking patients to reschedule appointments if they are sick, have been experiencing potential COVID symptoms, or have traveled from other affected areas
When Urgent Eye Exams Are Needed
For many people, eye exams are a regular part of a healthcare routine, similar to a physical with a general healthcare practitioner. Routine eye exams are typically recommended either once a year or once every two years, depending on the patient’s age, their eye health, and whether or not they wear prescription lenses.
In some cases, eye exams are not routine. Urgent eye exams should be scheduled in between routine check-ups in any of the following situations:
- There is a sudden change in vision or loss of vision
- There is a sudden onset of flashes or floaters in the field of vision
- There is a foreign object in the eye
- The eye has been scratched or otherwise injured
- The eye has been exposed to chemicals
The above mentioned circumstances pose a significant threat to the health and function of the eyes, and a person’s overall vision. Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, these types of situations need to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage or vision loss.
Why Routine Eye Exams Are So Important
Even when the eyes seem to be healthy and the vision remains unchanged, routine eye exams are important. Regular eye exams benefit patients because they allow our ophthalmologist to fully examine the eyes inside and out. This includes checking the condition of the retinas and measuring intraocular pressure.
Because of the many benefits of routine eye exams, we encourage patients to stay on top of their eye exam schedule, even during the COVID pandemic.
What If I Want to Wait for an Eye Exam?
Some of our patients, such as those over the age of 60 or those with diabetes, are at heightened risk of COVID complications. If patients do not feel comfortable undergoing a routine eye exam at this time, we are happy to reschedule for a later date.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are due for a routine eye exam, the ophthalmologists at Monterey County Eye Associates are prepared to provide you services in a safe and clean environment. To schedule an appointment, contact us online at your earliest convenience, or call (831) 424-1150.