COA Urges Patients with Eye Conditions to Stay Out of Emergency Rooms - California Optometric Association
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COA Urges Patients with Eye Conditions to Stay Out of Emergency Rooms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Contact: Kristine Shultz (916) 752-1671

 

California Optometric Association Urges Patients with Eye Conditions to Stay Out of Emergency Rooms

Contact your optometrist before going to an ER to triage your urgent eye condition

SACRAMENTO – Today, California’s optometrists are urging patients with eye-related conditions to call them first, before heading to an already-overwhelmed hospital emergency room.

“With America’s hospitals starting to experience shortages in supplies such as masks, gowns and gloves, there is no question that the health care system is overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The California Optometric Association is reminding citizens that most eye issues, such as infections, foreign bodies and eye injuries, can be triaged or treated by your local optometrist, eliminating the need to go to an emergency room at a local hospital, and risking contact with others who may be infected,” said Dr. Jason Tu, President of the California Optometric Association. 

According to a recent California Optometric Association poll of its membership, 73 percent of optometrists responding remain open for urgent or emergency eyecare. The CDC recommends that patients postpone routine eyecare visits.

California doctors of optometry are the primary eye doctors for family members of all ages. They diagnose and treat diseases of the eye. Awareness of the cost of health care decisions is critical at all levels of health care. Many patients obtain care in emergency departments that can be obtained in a less costly outpatient setting.

According to the American Optometric Association, most eye-related conditions reported in emergency departments may be treatable in outpatient optometry offices or clinics. Visits to your doctor of optometry, instead of an emergency department, can save money, decease burden on the health care system and reduce exposure to COVID-19.

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