Are you due for your annual eye exam and worried about the safety of seeing your optometrist amid COVID-19? This is an understandable concern and one that many patients share. While COVID-19 is serious, all doctors, including your eye doctors, are infection control experts. As such, you should feel comfortable keeping your appointments.
What to Expect When You Visit the Eye Doctor
We are living in unprecedented times. It seems overnight our world has changed and we are now looking at every interaction differently. It can be anxiety-inducing to keep regular appointments, but where your vision is concerned, it’s important to do so.
When you visit your eye doctor amid COVID-19, things may look a little different than they did when you last visited. Optometrists have received guidance from the CDC and the American Optometric Association has shared this guidance to help providers create a safe exam for every patient.
When you make an appointment or arrive for your appointment, you should be prepared for a different experience. Practices have been instituted for the protection of doctors, staff, and patients and may include:
- You may be asked health screening questions when you make your appointment and again when you arrive for your appointment.
- You may be asked to wait outside in your vehicle rather than in a waiting room.
- You may have fewer appointment times to choose from as many providers are spacing appointments out so there is as little overlapping of patients as possible.
- You may have your temperature taken when you arrive in the office and you may be asked to wear a mask.
- You may be asked to use hand sanitizer upon entry and exit of the practice.
During your exam, you may also notice some infection control measures such as:
- Your doctor may use a plastic barrier, known as a slit-lamp breath shield. This will block the exchange of breath between you and the doctor.
- Your doctor may wear a mask with a plastic shield over their eyes.
- Your doctor may ask you to wait to ask questions until the exam is over.
- Your doctor may not speak during your exam until the slit-lamp breath shield is on.
- You may be asked to refrain from shaking hands when you arrive and when you leave.
- If you try on frames, you may be asked to sanitize your hands before and after.
As you can see, the guidance from the CDC is impacting the eye exam experience a bit, but your provider is still able to provide you with great care and reduce the risk of infection. While it may feel different, maintaining your eye care appointments is vital to your overall health. What we know now is that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, but your eye health is as important as ever. Be sure to check out the listing of eye doctors here at Best Vision Now to find one that will help you maintain good eye health.