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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 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 Martin Street Optometry for guidance and potential treatment prior to heading to an overwhelmed hospital emergency room. Dr. Denise Klaming 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, Martin Street Optometry at Milton 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/

COVID19 Update from Martin Street Optometry (1) page 001

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Please note that our office we will be closed until further notice.

We are doing our best to provide urgent eye care to our patients on a case by case basis. If you have an eye emergency, please call the office at (905) 878-7625 and leave us a voicemail message stating your name, symptoms and the best phone number to reach you. We will try to accommodate you in a timely manner, or direct you to where you can receive care.

We will be checking voicemail messages between the hours of 9am-12pm, Monday-Friday. We will be closed on Saturday.

If you have ordered eyewear from us, we will contact you to arrange for pickup or delivery.

We thank you for your patience during this difficult time.

Further updates will be posted on our Facebook page as this situation develops further. Stay well!