COVID-19 has been declared as a global pandemic. There are a lot of eye-related questions which will run in your mind: How to protect your eyes?, How to tell if you need to see an ophthalmologist?
Ways to approach to the clinic and few eye care tips to follow at home:
1) Maintain proper hand hygiene, i.e. wash your hands for 20 sec more frequently.
2) Use of 70% alcohol-based sanitizer.
3) Wear a mask while you leave the house.
4) Stay away from people who have international travel history or who show symptoms of cough, fever, breathlessness.
5) Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and face frequently and avoid touching any doorknob or countertop.
6) Stay at home at all times.
7) People wearing lenses are advised to wear glasses as it will reduce the chances of eye infection
When to visit an ophthalmologist?
1) Eye injury which includes chemical injuries, penetrating injuries, blunt trauma.
2) Foreign body: corneal foreign bodies
3) Patients taking treatment for diabetic retinopathy
4) Patients taking regular eye injections
5) If u see any sudden blurring of vision
6) Redness and itchy eyes: With this lockdown our screen time has gone up drastically so we may note redness and itchy eyes.
7) Watering of eyes with or without discharge
How to visit an ophthalmologist?
1) No walk-in patients allowed
2) Patients to be taken strictly on an appointment basis. A doctor needs to spread out the appointments so that there is no rush in the clinic.
3) Patients should come alone so as to avoid the rush or maximum of one person along can be allowed.
4) Patients are supposed to wear a mask at all times, simple cloth mask is also fine
5) Carry a bottle of water to avoid the rush at the water dispensers
6) Patients who need dilatation of pupil to be done might have to wait in their cars or in the lobby to avoid the rush in the waiting area.
The scene in the waiting area
1) Please don’t get scared to see the waiting area empty. Management has done this deliberately to avoid the rush
2) You will be given a sanitizer and after that you will be asked to fill a form mentioning age, name, address, medical history, travel history, and current problem.
3) Please keep your mask on at all times, avoid touching anywhere.
4) Maintain Personal distancing at all times
5) AC might be shut to avoid the spread of infection
The scene in the OPD area
1) Your doctor will see you wearing a face shield, mask, and gloves.
2) Patients should be wearing a mask at all times.
3) The doctor will examine you on a slit lamp with a plastic breath shield.
4) After examination, maintaining a safe distance, the doctor will prescribe you all the medicines that you need.
Some Eye care tips to follow at home :
1) Reduce screen time: with this lockdown our TV time, mobile usage has increased drastically.
2) Wash eyes regularly with drinking water.
3)While watching TV or using a laptop take a break every 30 mins, try to look away from the screen look at greenery, to reduce strain on your eyes also blink your eyes frequently while looking at any screen.
4) Eat healthily, incorporate lots of colored veggies in your diet, and try incorporating citrus fruits in your diet.
5) Stay hydrated this is good for your eyes and body in general.
6) People with specs are advised to wear specs all day this will help in reducing the frequency of headaches.
We hope and pray that all of us come out of this crisis successfully.
Stay alert, stay safe
Dr. Amit Motwani
M.B.B.S; M.S; F.A. E.H