Safe Prosthetic Eye Visits During COVID [Plus 3 Reasons Not to Delay Care]

What is safe to do now and what will just have to wait?  It’s a question we all face on a frequent basis during the pandemic. Unfortunately, many people find themselves trying to decide if their health needs can wait. This includes patients who need a prosthetic eye or custom conformers. 

For any health concern, it’s important to understand if delaying care will lead to complications and to know what safety precautions are in place when you do need care. 

The majority of ocularists are following the CDC guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in order to help patients. Early in the pandemic, Carolina Eye Prosthetics in North Carolina developed a system to safely provide care for patients coming to the office for custom prosthetic eyes, conformers, or follow-up care.  These safeguards include the following steps:

Before Your Appointment: When your appointment is scheduled and the day before your appointment, a staff member will ask you about COVID symptoms, any recent travel or gathering in groups, if you’ve been tested or asked to quarantine, and if you live with anyone who falls into these categories. 

Families and Caregivers: Each adult patient may be accompanied by one family member or caregiver. Both parents may come to the appointment with a child.  Anyone coming to an appointment with a patient will also be screened on the telephone the day before the appointment and on arrival. 

Arrival the Day of Your Appointment: You will park in the parking lot and call our office to let us know you have arrived. We will let you know when to come into the office and have your temperature taken. Then an ocularist will take you back to the appropriate exam room.  We are keeping the use of the lobby to a minimum at this time. 

Mask Requirements: Patients, family members, and staff are required to wear masks in the office at all times. Children under the age of 2 are not required to wear a mask. You will not need to remove your mask in order to get a prosthetic eye or conformer made. 

Staff Screening: All staff members at Carolina Eye Prosthetics complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire each morning before work and have their temperature taken. 

Cleaning of Rooms: The waiting area is cleaned several times throughout the day and each patient area is thoroughly wiped down with a sanitizing solution before the next patient. 

Air Filtration: Special air filtration units with HEPA filters are operating throughout the office to help filter and circulate the air. 

Reasons Not to Delay Prosthetic Eye Care

Eye Socket Changes: If you’ve had surgery to remove an eye, your eye socket can contract over time. Typically, patients are ready to be fitted with a prosthetic eye six to eight weeks after surgery. If the eye socket starts to contract due to delaying a fitting, it may be necessary to use a conformer to help expand the socket so that the new prosthetic eye will be more symmetrical with the existing eye. 

Pain or Ongoing Discomfort: If you have an ill-fitting or older prosthetic eye that is irritating your eyelid and eye socket, the irritation can turn into inflammation and more persistent discomfort or even pain. It’s always best to have an ocularist assess any discomfort early. It may be that polishing the prosthetic eye will alleviate the pain. In other cases, getting a prosthesis that fits better can eliminate discomfort. 

Longer or More Complicated Treatment: For children with congenital issues, such as microphthalmia, delaying conformer therapy can result in the need for more extensive therapy later. As children grow, it’s important to move to a large conformer or a larger prosthetic eye in order to maintain the size and health of the eye socket. 

Schedule a No-Cost Consultation Today

If you want to learn more about the custom prosthetic eye and conformer therapy services offered by Carolina Eye Prosthetics, schedule a no-cost consultation today. Complete our online form or call us toll-free at (877) 763-9393. Patients who are unable to come to the office are also welcome to schedule a virtual consultation