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Louisiana's optometrists urge patients to visit them first

Posted: 3:42 PM, Mar 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-25 16:42:20-04

Louisiana's optometrists are urging patients with eye-related conditions to call them first, before heading to an already-overwhelmed hospital emergency room.

"With America’s hospitals starting to experience shortages in supplies such as masks, gowns and gloves, there is no question that the health care system is overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Optometry Association of Louisiana is reminding citizens that most eye issues, such as infections, foreign bodies and eye injuries, can be treated by your local Optometrist, eliminating the need to go to an emergency room at a local hospital, and risking contact with others who may be infected," a release states.

“Why expose yourself to COVID-19 at an emergency room when you can see a Doctor of Optometry?” says Dr. Jonathan Bowman, President of the Optometry Association of Louisiana. He continued by stating that the current strain on the health care system can be reduced by this simple act.

Louisiana Doctors of Optometry are the primary eye doctors for family members of all ages. They diagnose and treat diseases of the eye and can also perform LASER surgical procedures. Awareness of the cost of health care decisions is critical at all levels of health care. Many patients obtain care in emergency departments (EDs) that can be obtained in a less costly outpatient setting.

According to the American Optometric Association, most eye-related conditions reported in the emergency department may be treatable in an outpatient optometry office or clinic. They say that visits to your Doctor of Optometry, instead of an emergency department, can save money, decease burden on the health care system and reduce exposure to COVID-19.