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

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 can be treated in an outpatient optometry office or clinic. 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 Executive Park Eye Care for guidance and potential treatment prior to heading to an overwhelmed hospital emergency room. Dr. Derber can assess the level of care the patient needs—whether it's telehealth or urgent care that requires a visit to the eye clinic or, in severe cases, even the emergency room. 

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 we have closed our store for routine appointments, Executive Park Eye Care at Colorado Springs continues 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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Executive Park Eye Care is Re-Opening

Dr. Derber and Dr. Gales will be seeing all patients and examinations starting on April 27 on a modified schedule. Our opticians will be available to fit, order, adjust and repair glasses in full capacity. Our goal is and always will be to preserve the health and safety of our staff and patients.

Thank you for your understanding during this exceptional time in history. As a small business we are glad to return to caring for all our patients in a safe environment. Our practice will be maintaining CDC guidelines for patients and staff with enhanced safety protocols:

1. Sick patients will be instructed to reschedule appointments

-If you have a fever, cough, body aches, chills or have been around anyone with these symptoms we will ask that you delay your appointment.

2. All staff and patients will be wearing masks

-We ask that you come to the office with a mask or face covering garment in accordance with the directive from Governor Polis.

3. Social Distancing in the office will be followed.

-Doctors and staff will be at half capacity and time between appointments has been increased in order to provide the safest environment possible during your visit. In addition, staff will continue to disinfect the office at a level greater than standard requirements.

4. Minimize number of people in the office.

-If you are able, please attend your appointment alone. If a guardian or caretaker is needed, we ask that only one accompanies the patient. Other family members or companions are welcome to wait out in the front lobby or in their vehicle.

We are excited to see everyone soon and look forward to providing you the highest level of care that has kept us in Colorado Springs for over 55 years!

Please contact our office at (719)-574-7000 for appointments or questions.