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What Will Optometry Practices Look Like Post-COVID?

COVID-19’s rapid sweep across the country has forced optical practices to make rapid clinical management decisions. Some optometrists temporarily shuttered their businesses due to the pandemic, while others began to offer emergency appointment services and telehealth.

 

As mandatory restrictions begin to lift in many locations, optometrists are beginning to open their doors for routine care. But this time around they will implement strict social distancing guidelines and take unprecedented precautions to limit the spread of infection.

Some of the Changes You Should Expect to See

 

1) Signage throughout the office spelling out new steps and protocols to ensure maximum safety for staff and patients alike.

 

2) Social distancing will be the new norm. Packed waiting rooms will be a thing of the past. Instead, clinics will be spacing out seating to reduce capacity and scheduling in longer intervals to minimize patient interactions. Some clinics may ask patients to wait in their cars until they receive a text message from the office stating that they can come in.

 

3) Certain practices will require appointments for individuals to see and try on the array of frames and sunglasses at the dispensary. Bookings will be in 15-20 minute increments, accessed by one individual at a time.

 

4) Methods will be introduced to decrease the number of surfaces a patient touches. This will include leaving the clinic’s front door open (or replacing it with a motion-activated door), facilitating cashless payments, and encouraging patients to fill out registration forms online.

 

5) Patients who aren’t feeling well or who have been in contact with someone who is ill will be asked to reschedule their appointment two to three weeks in the future.

 

6) Measuring one’s temperature at the entrance will become commonplace — this goes for both staff and patients. Though not the most reliable screening tool, as those who are asymptomatic can still spread the virus, it will identify some people who aren’t well. Anyone registering 100.4° or above will be sent home.

 

7) There will be more time between appointments, to allow the staff to thoroughly clean and disinfect before and after each patient’s visit.

 

8) Many eye practitioners will be wearing safety goggles and face masks, particularly during any up-close contact with the patient. Patients may also be asked to wear masks.

 

9) Individuals with suspected ocular infections will be put in a special containment area.

 

10) Practices will frequently wipe down any patient area, including chairs, counters and doorknobs. Every exam room will be completely disinfected between appointments. In the dispensary, frames will be promptly disinfected after patients touch them.

11) Patients will be requested to wash or disinfect their hands upon entering the office and when entering different rooms. Preferred Eye Care in Kokomo has strict hygiene and sterilization protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.

If you’re dealing with a vision or eye health issue and need to visit Preferred Eye Care, or if you would like some more information on how we have adapted our practice due to COVID-19, please don’t hesitate in contacting us. We’ll be happy to assist you however we can.

Preferred Eye Care serves patients from Kokomo, Indiana.

What Services Can I Get Using Tele-Optometry?

Tele-optometry is a branch of telemedicine that can cover a wide range of problems and treatments related to vision and ocular health. Tele-medicine delivers medical care through digital medical equipment and telecommunications technology, such as online videos accessible through smart phones and tablets. This allows patients to easily receive screenings, diagnoses, prescriptions and monitoring from the comfort and safety of their home.

Optometrists can provide virtual medical eye consultations for a variety of eye problems, including:

  • Eye infections (i.e.conjunctivitis/pink eye)
  • Itchy eyes and allergies
  • Eye pain and redness
  • Scratched eye (i.e. corneal abrasion)
  • Flashers & floaters
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid)
  • Dermatitis

Other services:

  • General Consultations
  • Refractive Surgery Follow-Ups
  • New Prescriptions
  • Prescription Refills

Which Digital Devices Can I Use For a Virtual Eye Evaluation?

 

Laptop/Desktop:

You can easily do your tele-optometric visit from any laptop or desktop that’s equipped with a camera and a microphone. Having a strong internet connection will help ensure high-definition video calls.

Smartphones/ Tablets/ iPads:

Many smartphones, tablets, and iPads now have very high-resolution cameras, which are great for taking quality pictures and videos that doctors can use to provide a diagnosis.

How Can an Eye Doctor Diagnose Through a Digital Platform?

 

The optometrist will provide a diagnosis based both on the images and the information you supply, and if the eye doctor believes that your issues require emergency care, you will be referred to a specialist to better help treat your condition. With tele-optometry, you can feel confident that you are receiving care from a licensed, practicing eye doctor from the comfort of your home.

Will Insurance Cover My Virtual Eye Care Visit?

 

In most cases insurance plans will cover telehealth visits, but to be on the safe side, we ask that you double-check with your insurance provider prior to the visit.

 

If you’re experiencing certain eye concerns, including red eyes, pink eye, itchy eyes, flashes, floating spots, or double vision, contact us today to receive a diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

 

Make a tele-optometry appointment before going to the emergency room or urgent care clinic to avoid the wait and any potential exposure to COVID-19. Contact us at Preferred Eye Care at Kokomo to schedule your in-home eye evaluation today!