Essential eyecare advice during covid-19 and lockdown

A lot has changed over the past 12 or so weeks. and things on the high street have certainly been looking a little different - your opticians are included in this.

So, what has changed in eyecare and what is the new norm?

Are you due your contact lens aftercare or eye exam and wondering how can you stay safe when visiting your opticians? Or perhaps you just want to know what has changed at your opticians and what to expect.  Well here are some facts to help you...

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  • As of the 17th of June, routine eye examinations, contact lens fittings and aftercare appointments have been given the go ahead to resume.
  • 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.
  • At the height of the pandemic, it was advised to speak with your Optician on the telephone prior to making a visit to your clinic, and this is still the case. Opticians will be making appointments to control the numbers of patients in their clinic to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
  • If you had an appointment booked with your optician or were due an appointment during the lockdown, they may have been in touch to re-arrange. If this isn’t the case, then pick up the phone and give them a call. 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

As already mentioned, during the lockdown, most opticians were providing essential eye care only. During the easing of the lockdown, Urgent and Essential Eyecare will still take priority to relieve pressure from GP’s, A&E, and hospital eye services.  So, if for any reason your branch is still closed, your opticians will be able to direct you to the nearest branch that is open for either a telephone consultation or an appointment if needed.

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...

Things have been very different in eyecare but as things start to get going again, here’s 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 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.