COVID-19

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Due to the global spread of COVID-19, we are taking all necessary precautions and following all recommendations and guidelines in compliance with the State of Michigan, the CDC, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Glaucoma Society to minimize the risk of exposure and infection. Our goal is to continue to provide the highest level of care in the safest way possible to patients most in need.

Will Glaucoma Center of Michigan remain open thru the COVID-19 pandemic?

We will continue to provide vision-saving treatment for our patients. However, we will need to modify how patients move through our offices and change our schedule to minimize the risk of infection for our patients and staff. At this time our staff can still be reached between our normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. These hours and schedules are subject to change as this is a fluid situation.

We also offer various TeleHealth services as appropriate. Please click here for more details to find out if this may be an option for you. Please call 248.356.0098 with any questions or concerns.

Should I keep my appointment at this time?

The staff will be contacting you prior to your appointment to confirm it and let you know of our current safety recommendations for entering the office. We will also contact you if your physician believes that your appointment can be rescheduled to a later date. As noted above, we will be screening you upon arrival to determine if you have any risk factors for COVID-19 including fever, cough or shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms, or are generally not feeling well, please reschedule your appointment and call your primary care physician or seek other medical attention. If you have no symptoms but have a recent history of international travel or contact with someone who has either a fever or cough, or tested positive for the coronavirus, we will also ask that you reschedule to postpone your appointment for at least 14 days and be symptom free for a minimum of 72 hours. We may ask that you be cleared by your primary care physician prior to returning for your visit.

What should I expect before my office visit?

As noted above, you should receive a phone call from our staff to confirm your appointment time and explain our current safety recommendations for entering the office. You may also receive a phone call from one of our technicians to update your medical chart in regard to changes to your contact and pharmacy information, medical history, current medications or other pertinent medical information in an effort to reduce your time in the office.

How will my office visit be different?

At this time, we are employing a “virtual waiting room” along with our standard waiting room. If you arrive early, please wait in your car until your appointment time. At your appointment time, please proceed to the office as you would normally. The office door is closed and locked.
The staff will note your arrival and a staff member will greet you and will ask a series of questions, as guided by the CDC, in regard to any symptoms you may be having. They will also check your temperature. If you are found to have any concerning symptoms or an elevated temperature, you will be kindly asked to reschedule and immediately call your primary care physician. If the waiting room is too full for social distancing, we will ask that you kindly wait in your car. The staff member will also confirm a number where you can receive a text message to alert you when it’s time to come up for your visit. Upon receipt of the text message, we ask that you proceed to the office in a timely manner.  ALL PATIENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK OR FACE COVERING TO ENTER THE OFFICE.

In an effort to maintain social distancing, access to the office will be limited to patients only unless a patient requires special assistance (i.e. wheelchair, walker) or a companion has legal authority pertaining to patient care. Legal guardians will be allowed to accompany all minors; thus, we ask that you please refrain from bringing any family members or friends into our office during your appointment. Your cooperation in following these guidelines is vital to limit exposure during this unprecedented global event.

In the office itself, our goal is to minimize patients in the waiting area as noted above. You may notice a different flow to your visit as we make every effort to minimize the need to move you to different areas of the office. Our goal is to maintain as efficient a visit as possible, but please bear with us as we endeavor to maintain a safe environment for you, our patient, and our staff.

All patient rooms will be disinfected with the CDC recommended protocol after each patient. All the common areas will be disinfected multiple times a day utilizing the same protocol. GCM will continue to adhere to and follow all State of Michigan and CDC recommendations for healthcare facilities in order to minimize risk to our staff and patients during your visit.

We are here for you!

If you have any questions regarding your appointment or care, please call us at 248.356.0098. We ask for your patience and understanding as we will be responding to more calls than average. As a reminder, TeleHealth may be an option for you. Please click here for details to find out more.

We understand how much you value your glaucoma and ophthalmic care; we are committed to continue to provide it to the best of our ability. We know that many of our patients are at significant risk for losing vision if they don’t come in for their scheduled visits. Thank you for your understanding in helping to keep the Glaucoma Center of Michigan a safe space for everyone.


Coronavirus and Your Eyes

Much of this information is republished from the Coronavirus and Your Eyes webpage from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

Download the AAO Coronavirus and Your Eyes flyer: English version Spanish version

Coronavirus can spread through the eyes and tears
The first thing to understand is that coronavirus can spread through the eyes — just as it does through the mouth or nose.
Limiting eye exposure can help. Here's why:

  • When someone who has coronavirus coughs or talks, virus particles can spray from their mouth or nose into your face. You are likely to breathe these tiny droplets in through your mouth or nose. But the droplets can also enter your body through your eyes.

  • People who have coronavirus can also spread the disease through their tears. Touching tears or a surface where tears have landed is another way someone can become infected.

  • You can also become infected by touching your eyes after touching something that has the virus on it.
     

Coronavirus may cause pink eye - but it's rare

If you have pink eye infection (conjunctivitis), don’t panic. Simply call your ophthalmologist to let them know and follow their instructions for care. Keep in mind that whether pink eye is caused by a virus or bacteria, it can spread if someone touches that sticky or runny discharge from the eyes.

Call your ophthalmologist for guidance in the following situations

  • You notice changes in your vision (like blurry, wavy or blank spots in your field of vision)

  • You notice a lot of new floaters or flashes in your vision

  • You suddenly lose some vision

  • You have eye pain, headache, red eye, nausea, and vomiting
     

Keeping your eyes safe and healthy

Guarding your eyes — as well as your hands and mouth— can slow the spread of coronavirus. Here are some ways to you can keep your eyes safe and healthy during this coronavirus outbreak.

  1. If you wear contact lenses, try 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 reduce eye irritation, and they may be a barrier that reminds you not to touch your eye. If you must wear contacts, be sure to clean and disinfect them exactly as your eye doctor recommends.

  2. If you must wear contact lenses and cannot wear glasses. During this time of uncertainty in the COVID-19 pandemic, there is some question as to whether patients should stay out of their contact lenses. While there are news reports that encourage people to switch to glasses, some patients require medically necessary contact lenses thus making glasses a non-viable alternative. The American Academy of Optometry and American Optometric Association believe that contact lenses can still be worn safely by those patients as long as strict hygiene is followed. As always, contact lens wearers should follow these guidelines:

    1. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before handling contact lenses.
    2. Replace the contact lenses according to their prescribed replacement schedule. For contact lenses designed to be reused, clean and disinfect the lenses after each use. Please be sure to read the directions on your chosen disinfection solution to ensure proper cleaning.
    3. Dispose of your contact solution after each use. Allow the case to air-day every day. NEVER top-off solution. NEVER re-use solution from the case.
    4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands as much as possible.
    5. If your contacts are uncomfortable, remove them immediately and switch to glasses. This can help you to avoid rubbing and touching your eyes. If you develop significant redness, decreased vision, pain, or discharge, remove the lenses and contact your eye care professional.
    6. Additionally, it is important to clean your glasses routinely.
  3. Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection Corrective lenses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets. But keep in mind that they don’t provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the open sides, tops, and bottoms of your glasses. For better protection, you must use safety goggles if you’re caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person.

  4. Stock up on eye medicine prescriptions if you can. If your insurance allows you to get more than one month of necessary eye medicine (like glaucoma drops), you should. Some insurers will approve a 3-month supply of medication in times of natural disaster. Ask your pharmacist or ophthalmologist for help if you have trouble getting approval from your insurance company. As always, request a refill as soon as you are due. Don’t wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy.

  5.  Avoid rubbing your eyes. It can be hard to break this natural habit, but 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.
     

How to Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus by practicing safe hygiene and social distancing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer these general guidelines to slow the spread of disease:

  • 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.
     

Additional Resources:

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The average consultation requires 2 to 3 hours. If special testing or scheduling of surgery is required, you can expect to spend up to one additional hour at our facility. We make every effort to follow closely to our patients' scheduled...
 

Educational Videos

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A Safe Environment for Patients During the COVID-19 Crisis
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