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Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

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On April 22, the American Optometric Association (AOA) urged patients with emergency eye care needs to get in touch with their local optometrist prior to seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms. Doing so not only eases the burden on emergency departments but also helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

What Is Considered an Eye Emergency?

Most eye-related conditions are more effectively diagnosed and managed in an optometry practice rather than the ER. At Progressive Eye Care in Southbury and Farmington we have the training and equipment required to manage ocular emergencies. Emergency eye care includes, but is not limited to, urgent clinical advice or intervention for eye injuries and conditions that entail a foreign object in the eye, chemical burns, a sudden change in vision, flashes and floaters (which might suggest a retinal detachment), contact lens discomfort, red eyes and any other problems or symptoms that may impact or interfere with daily activities.

Prioritizing Your Eye Care Needs During COVID-19

During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been going above and beyond to ensure that people are receiving the emergency eye care they need. 

 

Patients should first contact Progressive Eye Care in Farmington and Southbury for guidance and potential treatment prior to heading to an overwhelmed hospital emergency room. Drs. Kimball, Richardson and Eng can assess the level of care the patient needs—whether it's telehealth or urgent care that requires a visit to our office. Additionally, we will coordinate any necessary care that is beyond the scope if our practice.

 

This will ensure that patients get prompt treatment while allowing hospitals to conserve their resources for the current pandemic. In fact, research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors' offices can potentially divert 1.4 million patients away from emergency rooms per year.

 

While Progressive Eye Care in Southbury and Farmington is closed for routine care during the pandemic we continue to provide emergency care for those who need it. We'd like to reassure our patients that we are here to help with anyone’s emergency eye care requirements – for both for new and existing patients.

 

 

References:

 

https://www.visionmonday.com/eyecare/coronavirus-briefing/crisis-response-tactics/article/aoa-cautions-patients-against-avoidable-er-visits-for-primary-eyecare-services-during-covid19-pandemic/

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The phone system in our Southbury office has been damaged by a power surge. We are temporally operating with just one phone line. If you have difficulty reaching us please email us atprogressiveeyecare@yahoo.com and we will call you back. In the event of an eye emergency, Dr. Kimball can be reached on his cell phone at 203-206-5604.