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Bordering Cedar Park & North Austin, minutes from Lakeline Mall. NW Corner of El Salido Pkwy & 620, behind AutoZone.

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Covid-19

What Will Optometry Practices Look Like Post-COVID?

COVID-19’s rapid sweep across the country has forced optical practices to make rapid clinical management decisions. Some optometrists temporarily shuttered their businesses due to the pandemic, while others began to offer emergency appointment services and telehealth.

As mandatory restrictions begin to lift in many locations, optometrists are beginning to open their doors for routine care. But this time around they will implement strict social distancing guidelines and take unprecedented precautions to limit the spread of infection.

Some of the Changes You Should Expect to See

1) Signage throughout the office spelling out new steps and protocols to ensure maximum safety for staff and patients alike.

2) Social distancing will be the new norm. Packed waiting rooms will be a thing of the past. Instead, clinics will be spacing out seating to reduce capacity and scheduling in longer intervals to minimize patient interactions. Some clinics may ask patients to wait in their cars until they receive a text message from the office stating that they can come in.

3) Certain practices will require appointments for individuals to see and try on the array of frames and sunglasses at the dispensary. Bookings will be in 15-20 minute increments, accessed by one individual at a time.

4) Methods will be introduced to decrease the number of surfaces a patient touches. This will include leaving the clinic’s front door open (or replacing it with a motion-activated door), facilitating cashless payments, and encouraging patients to fill out registration forms online.

5) Patients who aren’t feeling well or who have been in contact with someone who is ill will be asked to reschedule their appointment two to three weeks in the future.

6) Measuring one’s temperature at the entrance will become commonplace — this goes for both staff and patients. Though not the most reliable screening tool, as those who are asymptomatic can still spread the virus, it will identify some people who aren’t well. Anyone registering 100.4° or above will be sent home.

7) There will be more time between appointments, to allow the staff to thoroughly clean and disinfect before and after each patient’s visit.

8) Many eye practitioners will be wearing safety goggles and face masks, particularly during any up-close contact with the patient. Patients may also be asked to wear masks.

9) Individuals with suspected ocular infections will be put in a special containment area.

10) Practices will frequently wipe down any patient area, including chairs, counters and doorknobs. Every exam room will be completely disinfected between appointments. In the dispensary, frames will be promptly disinfected after patients touch them.

11) Patients will be requested to wash or disinfect their hands upon entering the office and when entering different rooms. Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park has strict hygiene and sterilization protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.

If you’re dealing with a vision or eye health issue and need to visit Lakeline Vision Source or if you would like some more information on how we have adapted our practice due to COVID-19, please don’t hesitate in contacting us. We’ll be happy to assist you however we can.

Lakeline Vision Source serves patients from Cedar Park, Texas .

My Eyes Are Burning – Could It Be COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral infection that can cause fever, muscle aches and a long list of other symptoms.

While rare, burning eyes are a possible symptom of COVID-19. The only sure way to know if you have COVID is to undergo a COVID test.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 has the potential to cause burning eyes. However, this is an uncommon symptom. Along with these eye symptoms, the most typical COVID-19 symptoms to watch for are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of smell or taste

COVID-19 is caused by a virus that enters your cells via an enzyme called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This enzyme can also be found in your lungs, heart, blood vessels, digestive tract and ocular membranes. Some researchers believe that the virus sometimes enters the eyes via this enzyme, causing ocular problems.

In the Journal of Ophthalmic & Vision Research (2021) a review of studies showed that 11% of more than 8,200 people with COVID-19 had symptoms affecting their eyes. Eight of the 932 patients with eye symptoms reported burning eyes, and 83 reported ocular pain.

Additionally, Clinical Microbiology and Infection (2021) conducted research on COVID-19 and ocular symptoms. Of the 108 COVID-19 patients in the study, 75 had at least one ocular symptom. The most common symptom (39 of those 75 patients) reported burning eyes.

Could My Burning Eyes Be Something Else?

Yes, definitely! There are plenty of other conditions that cause burning eyes, including:

  • Allergies
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Pterygium
  • Ocular rosacea
  • Toxins
  • Chemical burns

When To See A Doctor

If you experience any of these above it is important to seek attention from an eye doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis of the cause and treatment plan.

If you are also experiencing other COVID-19 symptoms, immediately follow your local COVID advice regarding testing and other recommendations.

At Lakeline Vision Source, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 512-918-3937 or book an appointment online to see one of our Cedar Park eye doctors.

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Q&A

What are other causes of burning eyes?

Besides COVID-19, other potential causes of burning eyes include dry eye syndrome, an eye infection, exposure to smoke, a scratch on your cornea, allergies and eye strain.

How can I treat burning eyes?

Treatment will depend on the reason your eyes are burning. While compresses might help, an eye check-up can determine the underlying cause of your discomfort and your eye doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Visiting Your Optometrist During COVID-19

Is your eye doctor’s appointment coming up? Are you worried about going to the eye clinic during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Rest assured, keeping our patients and staff are safe is our top priority.

We anticipate that this outbreak will continue for a while, and do not want our patients to neglect their eye care needs during this critical time. Our optometric clinic is prudent and has adopted specific measures to protect our patients and staff from potential exposure to COVID-19 during this time of uncertainty.

That said, guidelines for slowing the spread of this epidemic are rapidly changing. Please pay close to attention to local regulatory changes to get the most up-to-date information on whether practices can still remain open/ accept non-emergency cases.

Here Are the Precautions Our Eye Clinic Is Taking to Limit COVID-19:

We employ a strict office policy that mandates that all eye doctors, opticians, office staff, and patients not enter if they are feeling unwell or have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or have been exposed to a known case of COVID-19 or traveled outside of the country within the last 14 days.

The staff may ask you to wait outside rather than in the waiting area in order to protect yourself and others from any circulating germs. Furthermore, we are trying to schedule our appointments in such a way that our waiting room remains as empty as possible.

During your eye exam:

  • The eye doctor may use a special plastic barrier called a slit-lamp breath shield to block the exchange of breath between patient and doctor.
  • The optometrist may wear a mask with a plastic shield over the eyes.
  • The practitioner will wait for your slit-lamp eye exam to be over before speaking with you or answering any questions you may have.
  • We sanitize all equipment and patient contact surfaces after every use and at the end of the day.
  • We sanitize all surfaces and equipment (front desk counters, telephones, pens, door handles, waiting room chairs) with antibacterial wipes.
  • All staff members wash their hands after contact with each patient and throughout the day.
  • Our office is equipped with several sanitizing stations.
  • We request that patients sanitize their hands prior to and after trying on frames. We also make sure to clean frames that have come into contact with patients with soap and hot water.
  • If we don’t shake hands with our patients during this time, please don’t take it personally.

Please call Lakeline Vision Source at 512-918-3937 with any questions or concerns you may have. If you feel it’s best for you or a member of your family to reschedule your appointment, we encourage you to do so.

To stay abreast of the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the following official health organizations:

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at www.CDC.gov
  • World Health Organization (WHO) at www.WHO.int

Thank you and stay safe!

Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

On April 22, the American Optometric Association (AOA) urged patients with emergency eye care needs to get in touch with their local optometrist prior to seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms. Doing so not only eases the burden on emergency departments but also helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What Is Considered an Eye Emergency?

Most eye-related conditions can be treated in an outpatient optometry office or clinic. Emergency eye care includes, but is not limited to, urgent clinical advice or intervention for eye injuries and conditions that entail a foreign object in the eye, chemical burns, a sudden change in vision, flashes and floaters (which might suggest a retinal detachment), contact lens discomfort, red eyes and any other problems or symptoms that may impact or interfere with daily activities.

Prioritizing Your Eye Care Needs During COVID-19

During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been going above and beyond to ensure that people are receiving the emergency eye care they need.

Patients should first contact Lakeline Vision Source for guidance and potential treatment prior to heading to an overwhelmed hospital emergency room. our optometric team can assess the level of care the patient needs—whether it’s telehealth or urgent care that requires a visit to the eye clinic or, in severe cases, even the emergency room.

This will ensure that patients get prompt treatment while allowing hospitals to conserve their resources for the current pandemic. In fact, research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors’ offices can potentially divert 1.4 million patients away from emergency rooms per year.

While we have closed our store for routine appointments, Lakeline Vision Source at Cedar Park continues to provide emergency care for those who need it. We’d like to reassure our patients that we are here to help with anyone’s emergency eye care requirements – for both for new and existing patients.

References:

https://www.visionmonday.com/eyecare/coronavirus-briefing/crisis-response-tactics/article/aoa-cautions-patients-against-avoidable-er-visits-for-primary-eyecare-services-during-covid19-pandemic/

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