In these strange, unprecedented times, information is everywhere. But what most people want is direction on what they should actually do to keep themselves – and their eyes – safe during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Eye Practice has put together some helpful advice for taking care of your eyes during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
CONSIDER YOUR MINIMUM CONTACT LENS NEEDS
While we are not suggesting that anyone stockpile contact lenses (and we will not be accepting large orders) we are encouraging people to consider their minimum needs over the next six months.
If you are heavily dependent on disposable contact lenses, especially if you do not have glasses, consider ordering a 6 month supply to get you through this crisis in the event that supply chains are affected. Don’t forget to include your preferred cleaning solution in your order.
If you wear custom-made lenses, consider getting a spare lens for at least one eye in case of loss or breakage.
The Eye Practice will post out your contact lenses and solutions for a flat rate of $14 anywhere in Australia.
HOW ESSENTIAL ARE YOUR GLASSES?
If you can’t function without your glasses, you should have a spare. The Eye Practice provides a same-day service for single vision lenses in a wide prescription range. If, however, your glasses require specialist lenses from overseas, be aware that there may be delays.
KEEP YOUR EYES SAFE: CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN OPTIMUM OCULAR HEALTH
The Eye Practice will be remaining open for patients with pressing needs, unless we are forced to close. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you are in a high risk category and wish to self-isolate, you should reschedule.
If you have a pressing need for an eye examination, including an eye disease requiring review, or you are running low on contact lenses or need new glasses, you can still attend as long as you are well. Your optometrist may postpone a few elements of your examination that require close contact.
Safety during COVID-19
The Eye Practice has put a number of measures in place to ensure your safety including:
- Masked staff and optometrists
- Telephone screening of patients for risk factors for COVID-19
- Hand sanitiser use for all visitors to the practice
- Disinfection of all consulting room equipment between patients
- Availability of disposable rubber gloves for anyone trying on frames
- Disinfectant wipe down of all optical and sunglasses frames after trying on
- Clingwrapped Eftpos machines, replaced for each transaction
If you are due for a pressing eye appointment and have developed even mild symptoms of cold or flu, including a sore throat or cough, postpone your appointment for a few weeks until you are completely free from symptoms.
If you need an urgent appointment but you are not feeling well, call The Eye Practice to discuss BEFORE coming in.
Keep your eyes safe when WORKING FROM HOME
Be aware that if you binge on digital devices (whether that’s watching back-to-back series on Netflix or staying in touch on social media) it can play havoc with your eyes. Symptoms of dry eyes and eye strain can be significantly worsened by too much screen exposure.
Don’t forget the old 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes on a device, take a 20 second break to look into the distance and blink 20 times.
Self-isolation does not mean that you’re confined to indoors 24/7. If you are fit and well, try to get out in the fresh air and do some exercise such as a walk or run. Keep well away from others when exercising. You can currently exercise with one friend (or people from your own household).
Whether its yoga or pilates in the garden or a run around the oval, make sure you’re getting at least 20 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week. Missing out on exercise can lead to poorer sleep and higher levels of anxiety, which brings us to…
WATCH OUT FOR CORONAVIRUS ANXIETY
Take care of your mental health throughout this period. Unlike some global disasters, pandemics burn out after a finite period. Stay healthy in body and mind during this time so that the impact is not long-lasting.
- Stay busy: people who are socially isolating can put their time to good use. Plan a project. Sort out those photos you’ve been meaning to sort for years! Organise your home office. Start a journal.
- Maintain healthy habits with exercise, sleep and diet. We all want to come through this in one piece!
- Take a social media fast for a day
- Try some yoga or meditation to switch off
Have you got enough contact lenses to see you through the next few months? Call The Eye Practice on (02) 9290 1899 or make an appointment online. (This article was updated on 3/4/20 in line with current health advice)