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Eye Care and COVID-19: What You Should Know

Maintaining your eye health is critical, especially if you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, glaucoma, or cataracts. Injuries and urgent symptoms, such as floaters or loss of vision, also need immediate attention — despite your concerns about visiting the doctor due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although keeping your distance and not going out if you don’t have to is an important way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, you don’t want to compromise other aspects of your health in the process.

At Valley Eye Professionals, we’ve taken extra precautions to help you stay safe during this unprecedented time. Like all medical professionals, our Los Angeles, California, office follows strict hygiene and disinfection guidelines and requires staff and patients to wear a face covering at all times. Here, we share what you need to know.

Can COVID-19 spread through your eyes?

Yes, COVID-19 can spread through your eyes. If someone coughs, sneezes, or shouts in your immediate vicinity, it’s possible for droplets of virus particles to enter your body through your eyes. It’s more likely for you to contract the virus by breathing in these droplets, however.

If you rub your eyes or after touching a surface contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, it’s also possible to contract the virus.

Can COVID-19 damage your eyes?

In rare cases, COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis, or pink eye. If you do show symptoms of pink eye — including redness, irritation, and a runny discharge from the eye — call our office so we can evaluate your infection and offer the proper treatment.

Pink eye, caused by COVID-19 or another virus or bacteria, is highly contagious, so keep up with diligent hand washing and do not share towels or eye care accessories or makeup with anyone.

When should I make an appointment at Valley Eye Professionals?

Emergencies happen — pandemic or not. If you have any of the following, make an appointment to come into our office:

You should also make eye care a priority if you have diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. When you come in, you’ll notice changes we’ve made, such as keeping you in one room for your entire visit unless you require specialized testing and limiting people other than patients in the waiting room and exam rooms.

Some issues, such as prescription renewals or simple questions can be handled over the phone. If you have a question as to whether your eye concern needs an in-person visit, call our friendly staff for guidance.

What precautions can I take for my eyes during COVID-19?

If you wear corrective lenses, consider choosing glasses more often than contacts for a while. This is especially true if you find that you touch your eyes a lot while wearing contacts. Glasses may offer a layer of protection against respiratory droplets — although they aren’t a perfect defense, as droplets can still enter above, below, or around your glasses.

If you’re on an eye medicine prescription, consider stocking up so you can get through another potential shut down or quarantine. Some insurance companies allow you to get more than one month of essential medication. Stay on top of your prescriptions, and don’t wait until the last minute to get them filled.

Should you need to touch your eyes, wash your hands before doing so. Break the habit of rubbing your eyes. If you have itchy or dry eyes that make eye rubbing an involuntary response, talk to the staff at Valley Eye Professionals for potential treatments.

Your eye health shouldn’t suffer during COVID-19. We are open and are prepared to keep you safe when you need to come in for an appointment. Call Valley Eye Professionals today, or book online for your immediate eye care issues or for management for chronic eye conditions.

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