Oakland Eye Care is committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care even in the face of coronavirus. The safety of our patients and staff is our highest priority and we have taken steps to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The Governor has designated all medical care, including eye care, as an essential service, allowing people to continue to have eye care as needed throughout this time. Oakland Eye Care did reduce our care to emergencies only for 7 weeks to follow the recommendations of President Trump and Governor Whitmer to “flatten the curve” of new cases. Our state has now achieved this, and we feel it is the right time to continue caring for our patients.
The following precautions are in place to help ensure the safety of our patients, physicians and staff:
- We are screening everyone who enters our offices: All patients, visitors, staff and physicians will be screened for symptoms of coronavirus. You will be asked if you have a cough, shortness of breath, or a fever. If you have any of these, or you have recently been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, we please ask that you reschedule your appointment. We will place you on a priority reschedule list for a time after it is safe. You will also have your temperature taken with a thermometer which requires no contact with you.
- We are supporting social distancing: When you arrive at the office, please wait in your vehicle and call our front desk to check-in. We will call you when we are ready to begin your examination. If paperwork or insurance cards are needed, we will have you come to the front desk before your exam begins.While your eyes are dilating, we will kindly ask you to return to your vehicle. When you are dilated, we will call you back in to finish your visit with your doctor. At checkout, patients will be spaced out at a safe distance and there will be protective shielding at the receptionist’s desk.
- We are encouraging personal protective equipment usage: Our providers and staff are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep patients and themselves safe when providing care. Cleaning protocols will be in place during your time in our office. We also will have larger shields on our eye microscopes for added protection. When we use our microscope to view your eyes, we ask that we both hold from talking due to our proximity. When we back away from the microscope, we can then discuss the results of your exam as normal.Due to the risk of COVID-19 and the governor’s suggestion, we ask that you wear a mask to your visit if able. Please do not bring any additional bags, except purses, and consider leaving your coat in the car if weather permits.
- We are limiting the number of visitors in the office: We ask that if you have a driver, they stay outside the office during your exam so that you can return to the car whenever is needed. Please refrain from bringing any extra friends or family members into the office so that we can maintain social distancing. If you require assistance, you may bring one adult into the office with you.
- We are providing telehealth visits when applicable:Telehealth is the use of technology, such as a cell phone or computer, to perform a medical history and exam with a doctor. He or she will make an assessment and plan for your care. This is covered by Medicare and many health insurance plans. If you are interested in this option, please check with your insurance carrier to verify that you are covered for this service.It is difficult to simulate a full eye exam over the phone or a computer. We consider this to be a temporary but useful option during this time, especially for high risk individuals. If you are interested in a telehealth visit, our staff will ask you additional information to determine whether your problem is appropriate for a telehealth visit. You will need a smart phone or computer with camera capability for a this kind of visit. Some minor problems can be addressed over the phone. Phone visits are now covered by some insurance plans, but most carriers prefer a telehealth visit with video, such as on a computer with camera capabilities.
We may need to combine your telehealth visit with a short testing visit at the office. If you or a loved one requires full glaucoma testing, this testing visit could be longer. Some problems will require a full visit in the office, but we are happy to accommodate our patient’s needs with telehealth visits where applicable.
- Please check our Facebook page for updates as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time together.
Patients 65 and over and patients with additional diseases are at higher risk for COVID-19. Please see the CDC website for further information on your risk. Telehealth visits will be available temporarily for those patients who are high risk. If you are interested in this option, please call our office at 248-620-3000.
Selling eyeglasses safely: We are avoiding self-service in our optical shop during this time but will be providing one-on-one service in order to safely provide glasses within safe social distancing practices. If an extra patient enters the optical shop beyond our staffing, we will take their cell phone number and kindly ask them to wait in their vehicle. As soon as we can provide them service, we will call them back into our office.
We ask that you wear a mask if possible and avoid bags beyond purses. If weather permits, please leave your jacket in the car. If you need assistance, you may bring one adult into the optical with you, but otherwise please come alone. We will provide you gloves to wear while trying on glasses.
We will be cleaning each individual frame a patient tries on with disinfectant solution. Each frame will be disinfected before being placed back on the shelf. Your buying experience matters to us!
Performing eye surgery safely: The Governor’s office has instructed the Michigan Hospital Association that we can now return to performing necessary elective surgeries for patients. The surgical centers where we provide care are adhering to safe social distancing practices and are fully stocked with PPE (personal protective equipment).
Each surgery center will be ensuring safe social distancing practices by limiting the number of family members with each patient. We kindly ask that you and your family wear a mask and wait in your vehicle if there is any time delay on the day of your surgery. As always, the pre-op, operative, and recovery areas of the surgical center will have the highest level of cleanliness.
We are now rescheduling cancelled surgeries, as well as scheduling new surgeries for patients.
Can I wait on an eye exam if I’m just coming in for glasses or contacts?
In many cases, people can reschedule their eye exam safely, especially if they are not in need of new eyeglasses or contacts. If a prescription has expired, patients will need to come into the office for a new exam. Another reason we perform regular eye exams is to screen for eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
Can I wait on an eye exam when I have glaucoma or macular degeneration?
Both glaucoma and macular degeneration can be associated with vision loss and require regular monitoring. While some people may be able to postpone for a month or two, in most cases, regular visits are needed to prevent loss of vision.
Are there any eye symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Some studies have shown that up to 30% of patients will show signs of pink eye (conjunctivitis) with COVID-19 infections. Symptoms of pink eye include redness of one or both eyes and discharge throughout the day. With pink eye, there is rarely any significant pain and vision is only mildly affected.
If you call an ophthalmologist’s office with these symptoms and any respiratory symptoms, fever, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, then you will be asked to visit an emergency room for further evaluation.
Please check our Facebook page for updates. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please call our office at 248-620-3000.
We look forward to caring for you!