COVID-19 is fully in the spotlight when it comes to health care right now. And if you’re currently experiencing symptoms related to coronavirus, you know it’s important to call your health care provider, avoid public transportation, stay home, limit contact with others, and practice good respiratory hygiene.
During this time, however, you may also need to see your eye doctor. At Urban Eye Care in Seattle, Washington, Dr. Jennifer Andrews and our team are committed to helping our patients attain and maintain optimal eye health — now and always. We’ve put together this information about COVID-19 and eye care to help you do just that.
Here’s a look at what you should know about COVID-19 and eye care.
Stay informed about COVID-19 developments
At Urban Eye Care, we understand many of our patients are concerned about COVID-19 and how it affects them during these challenging times. New developments related to the coronavirus arrive daily. This can create more questions and even anxiety.
One of the best ways to stay ahead of any anxiety or fear is to stay informed with current information and the facts. Here are the links to key resources for our patients:
- King County information
- Self-protection guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Understanding COVID-19 symptoms (CDC)
- Advice from the World Health Organization (WHO)
- COVID-19 myths and facts (WHO)
To stay informed and make smart, healthy decisions during the global pandemic, use these resources. When in doubt, call ahead to speak to any provider or location you’re planning to visit.
What do I need to know about eye care and COVID-19?
You know COVID-19 can enter your system through your nose and mouth, but did you know it can also enter your body through your eyes? If virus-filled droplets land in your eyes when an infected person coughs or sneezes near you, or if you touch someone or something with the living virus and then touch your eyes, you could contract COVID-19.
As such, eye care during the coronavirus pandemic may look a little different than usual. Like many health care facilities and organizations, our office and other eye care providers are asking patients with non-urgent appointments to postpone them.
Patients with eye conditions that require regular care, such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, may not be able to miss an appointment. It’s also possible to have an eye care emergency arise at any time.
If you have an existing issue that requires care or are facing a new or urgent eye problem, please contact us to schedule a telephone and/or text consult. If Dr. Andrews determines that she can’t resolve an urgent concern without seeing you in person, we’ll arrange an appointment.
What if my glasses break or I run out of contacts?
If you or your child breaks a pair of glasses or runs out of contact lenses, call our office. We may have some contact lens samples to get you through as we process your new order. For glasses, we can usually fabricate and ship a replacement pair of glasses to be delivered or picked up.
What if I have a minor eye issue?
If you notice any changes in your vision or have pain, contact our office for an evaluation. Our office remains closed to patients other than for urgent needs, but there are things you can do at home to treat some of the most common eye problems.
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
There are two types of conjunctivitis: bacterial and viral. There’s no treatment for viral conjunctivitis — it simply needs to run its course. For bacterial conjunctivitis, Dr. Andrews can prescribe antibiotic eye drops. If you aren’t able to converse with the doctor, place a cold cloth over your eye to reduce the discomfort. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so wash anything that comes into contact with your eyes, including pillowcases and sheets, clothes, face masks, and, of course, your hands.
Dry, itchy eyes
Dry, itchy eyes are common during the spring and early summer when everything is in bloom and the temperatures rise. To help keep a handle on dry, itchy eyes, it’s a good idea to follow the general COVID-19 plan: Stay inside, and don’t touch your face or rub your eyes. You can also use over-the-counter allergy eye drops, cold compresses, and an anti-allergen pillowcase. If you wear contacts, give your eyes a break and wear your glasses to help them stay moist.
To learn more about eye care and COVID-19, contact Urban Eye Care by calling 206-344-2020. You can also check our latest COVID-19 statement online for updates and more information.