This pandemic has required us all to make many changes to our normal routines. As our 5-Star “Cleanliness” ratings demonstrate, we have always been fanatics about keeping our office clean and sanitary. But with COVID-19, we have become even more vigilant by following or exceeding CDC and OSHA rules for eye care. So, in addition to some new procedures, we also offer:
- Private Exam Rooms
- Breath Shields and Safety Barriers
- Modified Exams to Limit Touch-Points
- State-of-the-Art Sterilization (Including all eye glass frames)
- HEPA Air Filters
- Parking Lot Check-In
- Virtual Consultations
- On-Line Contact Lens Sales
- Virtual Try-On of Our Custom Optical
- Electronic Eye Care Supply Store
We employ commercial UV sanitizing technology for frames
7 Safety Steps
To make it easy to fill out forms before arrival, we offer 3 easy options:
Parking Lot Check-In
Call us from the parking lot when you arrive: We employ parking-lot check-ins to ensure proper social distancing. This way, we can reduce the time you spend inside the office and protect you from encountering crowds in our lounge and optical.
Limiting Visitors & Distancing
New rules require healthcare facilities to limit patient visitors to a maximum of one care-taker for minor patients or patients needing assistance. We manage patient flow to ensure proper distancing rules are respected whenever possible.
Wear an Approved Mask
All patients (ages 2 and up) must wear an Approved Face Mask that covers your nose and mouth when in the office, per CDC requirements. All masks must:
- Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the patient to remain hands-free
- At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings
Staff will wear approved masks at all times as well. For your safety, we have also installed shields and breath guards.
All staff and visitors will have their temperature checked upon entry, and are required to stay home if they have any of the following: Fever, respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath), exposure to COVID and/or quarantine status; fatigue; body aches; or flu-like symptoms. When in doubt, please reschedule.
Hands: All patients and visitors must sanitize their hands upon entry. Hand sanitizing stations are present throughout the office.
Surfaces Our staff are regularly cleaning trafficked areas, high-touch surfaces, eyewear, and equipment between visits.
On-line and Virtual Options
To help you maximize social-distancing opportunities, Northside Vision now makes its full line of carefully curated eyewear available for on-line browsing and virtual try-ons; competitively-priced contact lens re-orders delivered to your home; and quality eye-health products, custom-selected by Dr. Fairborn.
Virtual medical and vision service visits are also available when necessary, to enable you to reliably access your eye doctor from the safety and comfort of your home. Just call for information.
COVID Eye Health Tips & Contact Lens Safety
We hope this message finds you and your loved ones well during these trying times. There are a lot of messages out there about helping to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus— but few of them address your eyes. So, here are some important pointers from Dr. Fairborn about your eye health during the pandemic (and flu season):
Limiting eye exposure can help. Here’s why:
Experts say guarding your eyes — as well as your hands and mouth — can slow the spread of coronavirus. Dr Fauci recommends everyone wear a face shield or goggles. A typical way to infect yourself is to touch a contaminated surface (like a shopping cart, grocery item, or door handle) and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
How to help yourself and others:
Dr. Fairborn advises, “It’s important to remember that although there is a lot of concern about coronavirus, common-sense precautions can significantly reduce your risk of getting infected. Stay home when possible and avoid crowds. Wash your hands a lot, wear a mask whenever you have to be out, follow good contact lens hygiene and avoid touching or rubbing your nose, mouth and especially your eyes.”
If you wear contact lenses, consider switching to glasses for a while.
Contact lens wearers touch their eyes more than the average person. “Consider wearing glasses more often, especially if you tend to touch your eyes a lot when your contacts are in. Substituting glasses for lenses can decrease irritation and force you to pause before touching your eye,” Dr. Fairborn advises. If you continue wearing contact lenses, follow these hygiene tips to limit your chances of infection.
Proper Hand Washing is Essential. When using contact lenses or spectacles, careful and thorough handwashing with soap and water, followed by hand drying with clean paper towels is paramount. For contact lens wearers, this should occur before every insertion and removal.
Disinfect Contact Lenses. Contact lens wearers should either dispose of their daily disposable lenses each evening or regularly disinfect their monthly and 2-week lenses according to the manufacturer and eye care professional instructions. Especially now, it is critical not to over-wear your lenses. Please order refills from us if you run low on supplies.
Wash Eyeglasses and Sunglasses. Some viruses such as COVID-19 can remain on hard surfaces for hours to days, which can be transferred to spectacles wearers’ fingers and faces. So be sure to carefully wash your frames with warm soapy water at least once a day and store your glasses in a case when not in use. Use mild dish detergent and avoid chemicals (NO Clorox, bleach, alcohol or sanitizer). Some UV clean cases for mobile phones can also sanitize your glasses.
Discontinue Lens Wear if Sick. Ceasing contact lens wear when sick is advised, consistent with guidance for other types of illness. If you notice your glasses aren’t working as well as they used to, plan to come in for an eye exam when things re-open and we will be sure to help you get an updated pair of glasses for emergencies.
Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection.
Corrective lenses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets. But they don’t provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms of your glasses. If you’re caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person, safety goggles may offer a stronger defense. If you work in an environment with a great deal of potential exposure, we have several frames designed to act like a goggle. Ask our optician for help.
Stock up on eye medicine prescriptions if you can.
Experts advise patients to stock up on critical medications so that you’ll have enough to get by if you are quarantined or if supplies become limited during an outbreak. But this may not be possible for everyone. If your insurance allows you to get more than 1 month of essential eye medicine, such as glaucoma drops, you should do so. Some insurers will approve a 3-month supply of medication in times of natural disaster.
Avoid rubbing your eyes.
We all do it. While it can be hard to break this natural habit, doing so will lower your risk of infection. If you feel an urge to itch or rub your eye or even to adjust your glasses, use a tissue instead of your fingers. Dry eyes can lead to more rubbing, so consider adding moisturizing drops to your eye routine. If you must touch your eyes for any reason — even to administer eye medicine — wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then wash them again afterwards.
Practice safe hygiene and social distancing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer these general guidelines to slow the spread of disease:
Wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth when you must be out of your home. Wash or sanitize your hands when positioning your mask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- You should especially wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
- If you can’t get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face — particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your face with your elbow or a tissue. If you use a tissue, throw it away promptly. Then go wash your hands.
- Avoid close contact with sick people. If you think someone has a respiratory infection, it’s safest to stay 6 feet away.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces and items in your house, such as doorknobs and countertops.
Stay Safe & Healthy,