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The COVID-19 pandemic has altered life for everyone. It has brought challenges and the repercussions have been felt worldwide. The millions of people infected with the virus has threatened to overwhelm health systems globally.
It has affected a lot of people including health workers, even how people live, work and access healthcare generally. Most individuals now work from home, children school from home, almost everything is done virtually.
Eye Care Services are not left out of the menace that COVID-19 has caused, but eye care givers must adapt.
Methods of handling existing chronic eye health conditions like glaucoma which is actually sight threatening has changed just to ensure there’s preservation of life.
Most patients visiting their eye doctor are now nervous because of the pandemic. However, glaucoma patients should be comforted by the fact that eye doctors, like other health professionals, are already following strict hygiene and disinfection guidelines to ensure their safety.
Ophthalmologists and optometrists have devised various means of taking care of their patients. While the focus during the pandemic for glaucoma patients is to maintain quality access to glaucoma care, patients requiring non-urgent care need not feel left behind, and this is due to the use of telemedicine by clinicians.
Most eye doctors are using telemedicine, which is the use of digital devices like smart phones, computers, etc. for the dissemination of health care products and services. This allows them to communicate and render care to patients far away.
However, glaucoma cannot be effectively diagnosed and managed via Telemedicine, and that’s why in-house appointments in the hospital are highly recommended, especially for patients that have clinically urgent cases.
In this pandemic, glaucoma patients who need to have in-house appointment with their eye doctor are expected to follow some very simple but important guidelines to receive the most adequate care, whilst at the same time preventing the spread of the COVID-19. They should also take note of some changes they’ll meet in the hospital in terms of glaucoma examination.
One way to do this is by placing the clinician in one room and patient in another room, then after the discussion, clinician and patient can assemble in the examination room for a swift test with minimal speaking.
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