Should You See an Eye Doctor During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people are questioning whether it is safe to visit their eye doctor for routine check-ups or to address any concerns with their vision. The fear of contracting the virus has led to hesitation and confusion; however, it is crucial not to neglect your eye health during these challenging times. In this article, we will explore the importance of seeing an eye doctor, the safety measures taken by eye clinics, and the alternatives available for remote consultations.

The Importance of Regular Eye Examinations

In normal circumstances, regular eye examinations are essential for maintaining good eye health and detecting any potential issues at an early stage. Timely intervention can prevent or slow down the progression of various eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, or age-related macular degeneration. Furthermore, eye exams can also uncover underlying health conditions like diabetes or hypertension, as certain symptoms may manifest in the eyes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending more time in front of screens due to remote work and increased online activities. This prolonged screen time can lead to digital eye strain, causing discomfort, dryness, blurred vision, and headaches. An eye examination can help address these issues and provide necessary guidance on mitigating the effects of excessive screen use.

Enhanced Safety Measures in Eye Clinics

Eye clinics understand the concerns raised by patients and have implemented stringent safety measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Before scheduling an appointment, clinics usually conduct a pre-screening assessment via phone or email to ensure that the patient does not have any COVID-19 symptoms or recent exposures. Additionally, clinics have reduced the number of daily appointments to facilitate social distancing, and waiting areas have been adapted to ensure they meet the necessary guidelines.

Most eye clinics now require patients and staff to wear face masks and maintain proper hand hygiene. Regular disinfection of surfaces, equipment, and frames is also carried out to minimize the risk of transmission. Patients may be advised to wait in their cars instead of the waiting room to reduce contact with other individuals. Moreover, some clinics have installed plexiglass barriers at reception and consulting areas for an added layer of protection.

Remote Consultations: A Viable Alternative

If going to an eye clinic is not possible or if patients feel unsafe, remote consultations can be a suitable alternative. Many eye doctors now offer telehealth or virtual appointments for minor eye issues or follow-up appointments. These appointments may involve video calls or phone consultations, where the doctor can assess the patient’s condition and provide appropriate advice or recommendations.

However, it is important to note that remote consultations are not a substitute for comprehensive eye examinations. Certain eye conditions require in-person examinations and specialized tests, which cannot be performed remotely. Therefore, if you have any severe or urgent eye concerns, it is crucial to consult an eye doctor in person to ensure timely and accurate diagnosis.


In conclusion, taking care of your eye health is of utmost importance, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular eye examinations can help identify and address potential eye conditions, as well as detect signs of underlying health issues. Eye clinics have implemented thorough safety measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission, ensuring patients can receive necessary care in a safe environment. In cases where in-person visits are not feasible or deemed unsafe, remote consultations can provide some level of support, but they cannot replace comprehensive eye examinations entirely. Therefore, it is crucial to consult an eye doctor to assess individual circumstances and determine the most appropriate course of action.