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Category Archive for: ‘Clinical’
So the government has closed all non essential businesses for a while….
It is hard to consider Optometrists as much more than retail establishments in a dire situation such as the one we are living. Eye exams are important, but often could wait a week or a month or two?
Once or twice a week though we get someone calling in, with complaints of recent onset flashes or floaters, or other possibly sight threatening symptoms.
We always try to see these people as soon as possible, often lunch is taken up by seeing these folks, who almost always require a dilated exam.
Until last night’s new directives, we had planned to open on a limited basis from Monday, but Optometrists are now not classed as essential services, so we must remain closed for at least the next fortnight.
If you have an eye emergency, the Association of Optometrists have advised their members that we should not see you- any people with clinical problems should go to their local eye department.
If you have an issue with your glasses, I will do my best to help out. Call Ian on 083 808 0371, but remember that I have poor coverage where I live and the phone may not ring. If you leave me a message, I can call back and try to get something sorted out.
After careful consideration over the last few days, I have decided that the practice should close until March 29th.
There is little point in trying to split routine eye testing into 15 minute blocks, unless you are an “Optical Chain”, where it can all be done in less than 15!
I cannot (could but, will not) do testing that quickly – I tested my daughter last night in 12 minutes, but there were no issues except for blurry vision, and I didn’t need to be nice to her….
The diary in the next couple of weeks is busy, though how many people will arrive is a different matter….
Eye examinations are important – everyone should have one regularly, but they are not often time critical – a week or two here or there likely will not matter?
So, without consulting staff, I have decided that we should not open until March 29th. I feel that Neasa and Sandra will not be unhappy with this decision, but as I say, I have not asked them, yet.
So…… If you have an emergency (a vision/ eyesight emergency) please call Ian on 0838080371. Given my poor mobile coverage at home, and slightly better, but at this time “spotty” internet connection – it drops every few minutes (thanks Three), better to try me on WhatsApp? I am personally not a regular Facebooker, but if you try to contact us that way, I reckon Neasa or Sandra will alert me.
If you have a “spectacles emergency” such as a lens falling out or you sat on them (they seemed to become “somehow” strained), all of a sudden!!
Yeah, give me a call, and I will do what I can, but in the circumstances, try a pin, or a piece of thread – try to fix them yourself?
Obviously this is a very poor business decision – it would be much better to attempt to remain open – businesses which are closed only lose money after all! But in the “Grand scheme” of things, I think that this may be better for the population as a whole?
Tough (and scary) times!
The global pandemic introduces many difficulties to daily life and Optometry is no different!
Optometrists cannot perform any work at a distance greater than 2 metres – their arms are too short after all! As anyone who has had an eye exam will know, examination of the back of the eye is a very close procedure, with very little distance between the client and the optom.
Professional and regulatory guidance suggests that because Optometrists cannot work with the “self distancing” suggestions, we will have to attempt to go by the 15 minute rule. For the foreseeable, eye tests may need to be split into more than one session – the suggestions are that refractions and history and symptoms will be visit one and there will need to be another appointment for eye examination and (if necessary) collection of spectacles.
Obviously, depending on symptoms and issues, things may need to be done in a different order, depending on priority.
This is a not ideal situation, but in these circumstances, which are not ideal, we will have to roll with it.
We are going to have to instigate an appointment only visiting plan – no visitors without an appointment, at all. All appointments made by telephone will have to be screened, “triaged” to ensure you have no symptoms of COVID-19 and to determine why you require an appointment – if you have an emergency, such as loss of vision, we will see you no problem, but a red and/or sticky eye associated with a cough could be a sign – we will direct you elsewhere – best to call the HSE?
Routine eye examinations are the most likely to be disrupted – we plan to split those up as previously described, but, unfortunately, at this time do you really need your eyes tested? If you broke your specs and need a new pair, for the moment, if you could see OK with the previous pair, it might be better to go with the old prescription? We will absorb the costs involved here – should it later become “clear”, after a test down the line, that the correction was not ideal, we will change the spectacle lenses at no further charge to you. But maybe just wear your spare pair until this current crisis has passed?
Teaching clients how to apply and remove contact lenses is a time intensive and close proximity task which will have to be suspended until further notice.
For those folks who are past their contact lens prescription “in date time”, we will (as per recommendations) extend the contact lens prescription validity time, until things improve – no contact lens check mandatory at the moment!
For the same reasons, all home visit appointments are cancelled until further notice – there is no point in visiting a housebound person and exposing them to unnecessary risk!
Tough times for all of us – none of these measures are necessarily just to protect the staff of the practice, though that is of course an issue, but it is moreso to protect the wider community, to ensure we do not cause community spreading.
Pubs, Clubs and other venues, where large numbers may be in close proximity have been advised to close for two weeks by the government. We also see that certain local businesses have chosen to close for the next few weeks – that is their choice and we make no inference on whether that is the correct choice, but life goes on, as will COVID-19. It will still be in the wild in 2 weeks from now, likely more widespread, so we will hold off from even more drastic measures until absolutely necessary…..
Christmas Time, again.
As usual we are going to be closed between Christmas and New Year, our excuse being that we can get no deliveries until the New Year. Though that is actually true!
This is the only time I am personally guaranteed to get some time off, and that time at home is very precious, particularly this year.
We will be having a staff Christmas meal on Friday 21st in the afternoon, so we will be closing at 1pm, or perhaps shortly after? on that Friday, and we will be gone until January 3rd.
(Scottish people are genetically unable to work on January 2nd).
We may see you in the Bailie Hotel on Friday afternoon, but after that we will see you in 2019.
Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays to be more politically correct?
Ho Ho Ho!
Happy Holidays from Ian, Neasa , Sandra and Victoria.
(once again, in alphabetical order!)
Many thanks to all of our clients – no business is anything without you, after all!
We wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas, and onwards to year 2019 and beyond!
Please, please remember to NOT sleep in your contact lenses- it may have been a great night out, but your next day or two in hospital may not be so great? It is not worth it – for more information in case of an emergency, please click this link.
Once again, it is national AMD Awareness Week – September 10th to 16th.
As members of the Association of Optometrists, we will be offering AMD (Age related Macular Degeneration) screening free of charge in practice next week. AMD used to be called ARMD, which given its actual meaning still makes more sense to me!
Please call us to book a slot if you wish to avail, but please be aware that this is not a free eye examination, it is a free AMD screening. Also please remember that we are fitting these checks into our already busy diary, so you might not get the exact time that you would like. If you just arrive, please don’t be annoyed if we ask you to come back later – we are doing this as part of a national awareness campaign, which is more for your benefit than ours!
If you are entitled to a government funded full eye examination, either due to Medical Card or PRSI entitlement, you would be much better to get the full test done, rather than this “freebie”. By all means have this freebie too, but this is not a substitute for a full test, but given what I said here, even a full test is perhaps not enough, due to the speed of onset of the most devastating type of AMD?
Every year we have callers who have no particular interest in Age Related Macular Degeneration, but a very strong interest in getting something for nothing. We will happily accommodate them, but everyone, please understand that the staff will advise you to have a full test rather than the very reduced screening offered – if the full exam is still not going to cost you, why not avail of that instead?
If you have had a recent eye examination and everything was OK, and you have no issues now, you likely will not benefit from this screening, but do ensure that each eye is distortion free and seeing as well as you are used to – you should do this on a weekly or fortnightly basis. If not, you should get your eyes checked as soon as possible, ideally in the establishment you normally attend – they best know your eyes after all!
(And you do trust them, don’t you?)
AMD Awareness Week 2018 10 September 2018 – 16 September 2018
AMD Awareness Week 2018 ‘SightSee With Me’ will take place from the 10th-16th September. This year marks the beginning of a new decade for the awareness campaign, as we mark the 11th anniversary of the multi eye care stakeholder group initiative, supported by the Irish College of Ophthalmologists.
The aim of the awareness week is to create greater public awareness and understanding of AMD, and encourage those aged 50 and over to get their eyes tested regularly.
Further information on AMD Awareness Week 2018 activities and testing locations will feature shortly on the ICO website www.eyedoctors.ie and www.amd.ie.