To adapt to the current climate and ensure patients can still receive eye care during the coronavirus pandemic, many doctors are accommodating virtual visits for routine care such as eye exams.
These efforts by optometrists have been made to control the spread of COVID-19.
Yes, there is likely a doctor in your area that you can FaceTime to discuss the current state of your eye health!
On March 18, 2020, The American Academy of Ophthalmology, urged ophthalmologists to immediately halt treatment other than urgent or emergency cases. The treatment recommendation discourages normal office appointments and regular surgeries.
As a result, eye care professionals around the world are turning to telehealth to diagnose eye issues without the need for in-office visits.
The Health Resources Services Administration defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care
These virtual visits allow an eye doctor to care for patients by video chat or communication by telephone. The main purpose of these visits is to determine whether or not a patient is experiencing a medical emergency or simply an easy-to-treat from home case such as a stye.
It's important to note that virtual visits cannot replace in-office eye care entirely. The quality of telemedicine visits is lower because of the lack of pupil dilation and tests that can only be taken in person.
For now, though, we are grateful for this flexibility that allows patients in need to receive the guidance they need during these uncertain times.
In the meantime, it’s important for us to all do our part in mitigating any eye damage we are able to control from home, such as exposure to harmful blue light.