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Home » What's New » Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

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On April 22, the American Optometric Association (AOA) urged patients with emergency eye care needs to get in touch with their local optometrist prior to seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms. Doing so not only eases the burden on emergency departments but also helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

What Is Considered an Eye Emergency?

Most eye-related conditions can be treated in an outpatient optometry office or clinic. Emergency eye care includes, but is not limited to, urgent clinical advice or intervention for eye injuries and conditions that entail a foreign object in the eye, chemical burns, a sudden change in vision, flashes and floaters (which might suggest a retinal detachment), contact lens discomfort, red eyes and any other problems or symptoms that may impact or interfere with daily activities. 

Prioritizing Your Eye Care Needs During COVID-19

During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been going above and beyond to ensure that people are receiving the emergency eye care they need. 

 

Patients should first contact Downtown Vision Centre for guidance and potential treatment prior to heading to an overwhelmed hospital emergency room. Dr. Medeski can assess the level of care the patient needs—whether it's telehealth or urgent care that requires a visit to the eye clinic or, in severe cases, even the emergency room. 

 

This will ensure that patients get prompt treatment while allowing hospitals to conserve their resources for the current pandemic. In fact, research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors' offices can potentially divert 1.4 million patients away from emergency rooms per year.

 

While we have closed our store for routine appointments, Downtown Vision Centre at Vancouver continues to provide emergency care for those who need it. We'd like to reassure our patients that we are here to help with anyone’s emergency eye care requirements – for both for new and existing patients.

 

 

References:

 

https://www.visionmonday.com/eyecare/coronavirus-briefing/crisis-response-tactics/article/aoa-cautions-patients-against-avoidable-er-visits-for-primary-eyecare-services-during-covid19-pandemic/

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Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we have had to temporarily reduce our hours. Click here for our July/August hours.

With all of the unknowns confronting us in this difficult time, what remains certain is the importance of eyecare. Many of our children have unfortunately, although understandably, been exposed to much more screentime than ever before. Whether you believe and hope they will need to see the chalkboard across the classroom later this year, or whether they will be attending Zoom classes, we have special lenses for minimizing the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome, and methods for managing their nearsightedness. You also may be in need of relief for long hours of screentime, or you may need a new set of frames or contacts, and you may have pushed off a comprehensive eye exam which can be critical in detecting budding vision disorders and other health conditions. We encourage you to make an appointment with us as soon as you can, so that you will have one less worry as we move together towards a “new normal.”

Call us today to schedule!

Click here for the hygenic procedures we are implementing to keep you safe and healthy.