ATLANTA, Ga. (April 23, 2020) – Essential eye care is still available and eye emergencies can still be treated by an eye doctor during the novel coronavirus pandemic, say leaders of the Georgia Optometric Association. Members of the GOA are reminding consumers that, even though routine visits may be on hold, doctors of optometry are still available to provide essential eye care to their patients. Seeing an optometrist for an eye emergency and not going to an emergency room can lessen pressure on hospitals and ensure that vital ER care is directed towards COVID-19 patients.
“These are unusual times, but your doctor of optometry is still available for essential eye care and treatment of eye emergencies even though their regular office hours may be suspended,” said Dr. Mehrdad E. Saadat, president of the Georgia Optometric Association. “Don’t put off until later what needs to be taken care of today.”
In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that routine eye care visits be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Examples of eye emergencies and essential eye health care that can still be addressed by your optometrist include injuries to the eye, red eye, pink eye, painful eye, foreign objects in the eye, flashes of light, floaters in vision, strange or sudden changes in the clarity of vision, vision loss, monitoring of a condition, repairing broken eyeglasses and refilling contact lens prescriptions.
“Remember that hospital emergency rooms are needed for other priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic,’ stated Dr. Saadat. “A doctor of optometry’s office is better prepared to help you so check with them first if you think you have an eye or vision condition that needs immediate attention.”
According to American Optometric Association Health Policy Institute research, treating eye emergencies at an eye doctor’s office has the potential to divert up to 10% of patients away from hospital emergency departments. This conserves emergency room resources and helps healthcare professionals focus on pandemic patients.
For more information about the Georgia Optometric Association or to find an optometrist near you please visit www.GOAeyes.com .