Dr. McGregor N. Lott, M.D., Florida Eye Specialists
Age-related macular degeneration (also known as “macular degeneration” or “AMD”) is a problem with your retina. It’s the leading cause of vision loss in the country, and at least 11 million people have this condition. If you have macular degeneration, you may be worried about maintaining eye care during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s understandable to be concerned, but patients with wet macular degeneration need to receive scheduled eye treatments to prevent vision loss. Studies confirm that maintaining a regular schedule of eye injections is important in retaining the vision you have, and missing even one appointment can have a negative effect.
That’s why it’s crucial to keep your appointments. Many eye practices have made special accommodations for high risk patients to allow those who need their treatments to continue receiving the best care. Read on to learn more about protecting your sight during COVID-19.
Check your eye clinic’s safety procedures
Before making your appointment, call your eye care provider to discuss their safety procedures. Your clinic should be taking precautions to ensure your health and safety. While each office will have its own protocols, there are some general guidelines all should follow. Those include social distancing, frequent hand washing, the use of face masks and gloves, and regularly disinfecting surfaces and exam equipment.
For example, at Florida Eye Specialists, some of the safety steps we’re taking include limiting our waiting room to 10 patients at a time, at least 6 feet a part. Everyone’s temperature is checked upon arrival, and all staff, doctors and patients are provided masks to wear at all times. Doctors and staff wash their hands between every patient. We’re also providing a “clean” placard on exam chairs, so patients know the room has been disinfected before they enter. Patients will then stay in the same room for all portions of their exam, limiting mobility around the office. Whatever steps your clinic has in place, make sure you feel safe and comfortable before you go for your appointment.
Maintaining eye health at home
With certain eye issues, telemedicine has made it possible to stay healthy and protect your eyes while hunkering down at home. If you have any questions about your eye treatments between appointments, some eye care providers are now available for virtual visits. That way, you can connect with your eye specialist from the comfort and safety of your home. This also helps to reduce risk as there are fewer patients being seen in-office.
In addition, make sure to maintain home monitoring and continue making healthy lifestyle choices. At home, you can track changes in your vision by using at-home eye tests like the Amsler Grid. It is advised to monitor at least once a week. If you notice any sudden changes in your vision, make sure to call your eye doctor right away.
Maintain your eye care and protect your sight
If you have macular degeneration and you’re overdue for your eye treatment, don’t wait any longer. Remember that clinics are making special accommodations for high risk patients, and your eye care provider should be taking every precaution to assure your safety. Talk to your doctor about the safety measures that are in place to protect your health and your sight.
Dr. McGregor N. Lott, M.D., is an ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Specialists. For more information on Dr. Lott’s specialty treating macular degeneration or to schedule an appointment, visit FloridaEyeSpecialists.com or call (904) 564-2020.