It's fair to say that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has changed. From adhering to social distancing measures to wearing a face covering, we're all getting used to the 'new norm'.
Opticians are amongst the many industries affected and you may now be wondering how your eyecare appointments have changed.
Here are some facts to help you from booking appointments to what to do in an emergency...
- You can now make appointments again for routine eye examinations, contact lens fittings and aftercare appointments. To minimise the number of people in the clinic, you will need to have a pre-booked appointment. Call your optician to check their availability.
- There are new procedures in place to keep both yourself and the optician staff safe and that is the main priority of opticians. PPE will be worn, and you should only attend an arranged appointment if you are fit, well and symptom-free.
- If you have an issue with an upcoming appointment, pick up the phone and speak to them. Do not go to your opticians unless you have been specifically asked to.
- If your contact lens specification has expired or is due to expire, please again, call your opticians to arrange a contact lens check-up.
Urgent and Essential Eyecare
During the lockdown, most opticians were providing essential eye care only which may still be the case to relieve pressure from GP's, A&E and hospital eye services. If your optician branch is currently closed, you may need to visit your next local branch for an appointment or you can call for a telephone consultation.
You should contact your optician by phone if: -
- Your vision has changed suddenly or becomes blurry
- You have pain in your eye or red eye
- You have broken or lost your glasses and cannot function without them
- You have a problem with your contact lenses
- You have a foreign body in your eye
- You are worried about your vision or eye health
- NHS 111, your GP or any other healthcare professional has directed you to contact your optician.
A Few Things to Consider...
As we all get used to a new way of taking care of our eyes, here are some things you may expect to see now and some tips to consider:
- It may take you longer to get an appointment with your optician as appointments are being spaced out to ensure social distancing can be maintained.
- Before your appointment, your optician may call you to make sure you are fit and well prior to your appointment. They may also carry out some of the appointment over the phone to shorten the time spent in the consultation room.
- It could be that you are required to wear a mask during your eye test or contact lens check.
- If you want to limit the amount of time you are in the optician’s or would like your friend’s opinion you can get a copy of your prescription and buy your glasses online, where you can try on the frames with our virtual mirror Check it out at Superdrug Glasses Online.
- If visiting your opticians for a contact lens check, you will be removing and inserting the lenses yourself to minimise the risk of contamination.
- If you would like to try contact lenses for the first time, this is still possible, and your optician will advise you further – just ask them.
We hope that this has cleared up a few of your questions or concerns with regards to your opticians and eyecare during this time.
We advise you to continue with the guidance your optician has given you with regards to your eye health/care and also to continue with the information we all have been given with regards to washing our hands, trying to avoid touching our faces and social distancing.
Please remember to continue to Stay Safe and Be Kind. Thank you.