The last few weeks have been a difficult time for all of us, with uncertainty lying ahead due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
As a lock down is now in effect in the UK, we have made the decision to close our practice, in order to keep with official government and industry guidelines re: social distancing and prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible.
Although we are closed for walk-ins and appointments, we will be taking phone calls between 9:30am -6pm to assist with patient queries regarding spectacles and to give advice on urgent eyecare. If you call outside of these hours, please leave a message and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.
In the event of an ocular emergency outside of these hours, please call either your GP or NHS 111.
Hand hygiene has always been important when it comes to your eyes and preventing the spread of infection and viruses. We remind you to:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important for contact lens wearers before and after insertion and removal. Please ensure your hands are dried thoroughly before handling lenses too.
- If you have to go out for one of the 4 essential reasons outlined by the government, wash your hands as soon as you get back home, or use hand sanitiser if you don’t have access to soap and water but need to clean your hands.
- Remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Avoid using your hands for this wherever possible.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
Taking these simple steps will enable you to reduce the spread of the virus as much as possible and also protect yourself.
Whilst at home, it is also important to maintain eye care wherever possible. Try to:
- Avoid excessive screen time. With the majority of people now being at home, it’s easy to spend even more time staring at your screen than usual! Make sure you take breaks using the 20-20-20 rule.
- Try and get some fresh air everyday, whether it’s in your garden or just down the road. Remember to maintain a distance of 2 meters from anyone else that you come across that doesn’t live in your own household.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. The eyes need at least 5 hours of sleep every night to replenish themselves, so you don’t end up with eye strain or end up suffering from dry eye.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and zeaxanthin to promote good eye health. These can be found in blueberries, citrus fruits, oily fish and dark leafy greens, to name a few.
Stay safe, and stay at home. We are praying for all of our patients’ safety and well-being during these unprecedented times.
Thank you for your patience and support, and we hope to see you back in the practice again in the future!
The Visual Eyes Team