Ophthalmologists can now see non-emergency patients

ByMartha R. Camara

May 1, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — The executive order banning elective procedures in the Commonwealth ended Thursday evening, which also means dental practices and optometrists can begin seeing non-emergency patients.

It has been several weeks since patients were seen at Family Vision Care in Richmond. To cope with the influx of patients, staff will see the most urgent cases first.

“We have hundreds of patients due for their primary exams at this point, so we have to go through a series of questions to prioritize which patients need them the most right now,” said Dr. Jeffrey Michaels.

From Monday, people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, will go first, but the office is working to make visits as safe as possible. Patients will be required to wear a mask and have their temperature taken.

When it comes to exams, rooms will be sanitized between patients and optometrists will keep their distance using a technology called a refractor.

“Normally I would have been sitting in front of the patient for a long period of time, at this point I can be a good safe distance from the patient, who can check her vision and this machine, which is called a refractor , flows into our computers and allows us to keep social and safe distance,” Dr. Michaels said.

As for the fitting of glasses, each pair will be disinfected between patients.

“We’re still waiting for people to come and try on glasses, it’s one of the most basic things that can be done,” Dr Michaels said.

Again, Family Vision Care of Richmond will see its most urgent patients start, so not everyone will be able to call and make an appointment right away. You should call your optometrist to see how he is handling the influx of patients.

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