LOOKING AFTER YOUR EYES DURING CORONAVIRUS
It’s very odd having the practice door locked and only able to talk with people by phone, and then only in an emergency. So I thought I would send you some information and advice at this time about keeping your eyes and eyesight healthy throughout the crisis.
IF YOU WEAR GLASSES (FOR ANYTHING)
Now’s not the time to be breaking or scratching your glasses. Especially if you only have the one pair. Take these extra precautions:
Rinse your lenses under warm (not hot) water before cleaning with soap each day. This removes any grit that is sitting on the lens. Most scratches are caused by using a lens cleaning cloth on a lens with grit on.
A little bit trickier this one, but if you can examine any screws in your glasses to make sure they are not so loose that a lens might fall out. Glasses screws are easily tightened with a very small screw driver if you have one. Just remember to protect the lens with a piece of card or similar in case the screwdriver slips and causes that scratch we were trying to avoid!
Use the case that you have been given to protect your glasses when they are not in use. This will prevent accidental breakage and scratching.
IF YOU WEAR CONTACT LENSES
Contact lenses are safe but they do heighten the risk of eye infections if they are not used properly. You don’t need to do anything different from that advised to you normally, but you do need to do it! This means:
Wash your hands thoroughly before you apply or remove your lenses
If your lenses are reusable, follow the instructions on the solution provided about rubbing, rinsing and disinfecting your lenses overnight
Do not flush your lenses down the toilet when disposing of them. This isn’t coronavirus related (but it prevents us adding to the microplastics problem that we have created in our oceans). As experts believe that the virus can be transmitted through our tears, wrap them up in clean tissue and dispose of in your household waste. The recycling option that we offered in the practice is no longer available for this reason.
Do not be tempted to wear your lenses longer in a day than has been advised for you
Do not be tempted to wear your lenses longer than the lifetime they are prescribed for. i.e. If they are daily, 2 weekly, or monthly lenses, then adhere to that regime meticulously. Many eye infections arise from overuse of lenses.
If you experience any unusual redness or discomfort, remove your lenses immediately and wait a few hours to see if the symptoms go away. Do not be tempted to persevere with your lenses in your eyes under these circumstances. If the symptoms persist, you may need to seek advice by contacting us.
IF YOU ARE TAKING DROPS TO CONTROL GLAUCOMA
If you have been told to instil drops into your eye/s by the glaucoma clinic, then you should continue to do this as normal.
If your appointment has been postponed, don’t worry. Glaucoma is a slow progressing eye problem and your eyesight won’t suffer from an appointment delay of a few weeks/months.
Make sure you order any repeat prescriptions of your glaucoma drops in good time from your GP surgery. You don’t want to run out.
IF YOU WILL BE CARRYING OUT DIY OR GARDENING
Lots of hidden dangers here! It goes without saying that you are best not to have to attend the hospital if you can help it at this time. Here’s a few tips:
Always wear eye protection! Splashes from chemicals, foreign bodies lodging on the eye, scratches to the cornea and penetrating injury are all common results of DIY and gardening at the best of times.
Use your spare pair of glasses to do DIY or gardening. We are trying to avoid the scratches and breakages to your best pair that we talked about earlier.
IF YOU ARE WAITING FOR A HOSPITAL EYE APPOINTMENT
If your appointment has been postponed, the hospital will be aware of you and will communicate with you directly. Follow their guidance and don’t worry, they will be able to welcome you back in due course. This includes anyone waiting for further macular degeneration treatments at the Mater Hospital, awaiting cataract appointments , Glaucoma reviews at the Shankhill Clinic and many other scenarios.
I hope this covers some of the more common scenarios for you.
I look forward to the time that we can welcome you back into the practice with big smiles (and a nice cup of coffee!)
Until then, I do hope that both you and your eyes stay safe and well.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can help you with at this time.