Vision Health and Covid-19 Update from the Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Saturday, May 2, 2020 3:10:00 PM
May is vision health month and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society would like to remind you of some important information about your eyes and COVID-19.
- Avoid touching your eyes – We can't stress this enough. Washing your hands, coughing into your elbow, and keeping your hands away from your face and eyes is the single biggest factor to ensuring you stay healthy.
- Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) – While it's rare, about 1 to 2 percent of reported coronavirus cases show symptoms of conjunctivitis, If you or a family member gets pink eye, don't panic, especially if you're not experiencing the more common coronavirus-related symptoms, such as a dry cough, shortness of breath and fever. Viral conjunctivitis is very common, plus it is allergy season. Try warm compresses, lubricating eye drops, stop wearing eye makeup and contact lenses and replace these when your eyes are healthy. If symptoms continue, consult with your doctor to determine if you need an in-person office visit.
- Have an upcoming routine eye care appointment? Call your ophthalmologist first – Most ophthalmologists are performing emergency care only right now to keep patients safe and to conserve much-needed medical supplies. If you receive regular treatments to maintain your vision, such as injections for macular degeneration, talk to your ophthalmologist. They can tell you if you need to come in for treatment.
- Make sure you have refills of critical medications – If you take medicated eyedrops or other medical prescriptions, that you cannot or should not go without, make sure you have enough to get by if quarantined but do not stockpile medications to as this could prevent others from getting access.
- Consider home remedies for nonurgent relief – Some eye conditions can be treated from home, such as red eye, dry eye or eye strain. If symptoms persist, call your ophthalmologist. Many are conducting appointments through telehealth.
"During this chaotic pandemic, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the news and advice coming from a variety of sources," said Yvonne Buys, President, Canadian Ophthalmological Society. "The most reliable information is that which is based on science, so maintain good hygiene, continue to practice physical distancing, and follow the advice of your ophthalmologist to protect your good vision."
"Vision Health Month is a good time to reflect on the health of our eyes," said Elisabeth Fowler, CEO of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. "If you noticed changes in vision or are experiencing symptoms related to eye disease or eye injury, you should contact your doctor. We all want to see the future and that's why it's important to take care of your eyes now."
SOURCE: Canadian Ophthalmological Society