Florida Eye Institute Blog

Is it Coronavius or Pink Eye?

A Virtual Visit with an Ophthalmologist can help.   If you woke up with red, itchy eyes and aren’t sure if you might have something contagious – a telehealth visit with an ophthalmologist could be your first step to fast relief. Red, itchy eyes, with or without drainage, are a symptom of several common eye conditions. Some, like Pink Eye and COVID conjunctivitis, are contagious; others like allergic conjunctivitis, are not. It’s never a good idea to self-diagnose, even with the help of Dr. Google. A telehealth visit with a licensed doctor is a safe and effective alternative to diagnosis and treat a variety of eye symptoms. During the current COVID crisis, it’s no surprise telehealth has taken center stage for many medical specialties, especially ophthalmology. “We now understand much more about the spread of COVID-19,” states Dr. Val Zudans, Board Certified Ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “Telehealth visits reduce the need for face-to-face, physical exams, protecting both patients and practitioners. This eliminates the risk of contamination from asymptomatic carriers or infectious conjunctivitis.” The power of virtual triage Triage is a recognized strategy for managing healthcare surges. Especially in the age of COVID, reducing face-to-face consultations helps protect patients, doctors, and

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“How Do I Know if I Have Pink Eye?”

A telehealth visit with an Ophthalmologist can help.   If you woke up with red, itchy eyes and aren’t sure if you might have something contagious – a telehealth visit with an ophthalmologist could be your first step to fast relief. Red, itchy eyes, with or without drainage, are a symptom of several common eye conditions. Some, like Pink Eye and COVID conjunctivitis, are contagious; others like allergic conjunctivitis, are not. It’s never a good idea to self-diagnose, even with the help of Dr. Google and the internet. A telehealth visit with a licensed doctor is a safe and effective alternative to diagnosis and treat a variety of ocular symptoms. It’s no surprise that telemedicine has taken center stage for many medical specialties, especially during the current COVID crisis. “We now understand much more about the spread of COVID-19,” states Dr. Val Zudans, Board Certified Ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “Telehealth visits reduce the need for face-to-face, physical exams, protecting both patients and practitioners. This eliminates the risk of contamination from asymptomatic carriers or infectious conjunctivitis.” The power of virtual triage Triage is a recognized strategy for managing healthcare surges. Especially in the age of COVID, reducing face-to-face consultations helps

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Florida Eye Institute Safely Resumes Cataract and ‘Elective’ Surgery

Have you wondered why some surgeries are considered “elective” and why your cataract surgery may have been canceled during the COVID shutdown? According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, ‘elective’ does not necessarily mean ‘optional’.  Elective surgery simply means the procedure can be scheduled in advance. In the case of cataract surgery, that often means when cataract interferes with daily activities like driving, recreation, and work. But delaying cataract surgery may greatly impact patient safety. Studies show an increased risk of car accidents and hip fractures when appropriate cataract surgery is delayed. Recently, elective surgeries were canceled or postponed in Florida due to the Coronavirus pandemic to safeguard patients and to reduce the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) for medical professionals. Postponing scheduled outpatient procedures helped keep PPE available for those professionals working in front line response to COVID-19. The Executive order to resume all procedures in Florida was approved for May 4, 2020. In the coming weeks and months, you will find that additional safety precautions are implemented to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus including temperature checks, facial coverings, and social distancing in most public settings. If you are ready to reschedule your cataract surgery call (772) 500-2020

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The New Normal for Patient Safety in Eye Care

Eye care and cataract surgery have always been considered safe. In fact, of all out-patient procedures performed in the United States today, cataract surgery remains one of the safest and most frequently performed. A recent study of 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries confirmed that 99.5 percent experienced no severe postoperative complications after cataract surgery. But you may wonder how the current COVID reality changes safety considerations for those seeking eye care and surgery, especially as restrictions on out-patient surgery and medical office visits are lifted throughout the state. Florida Eye Institute is actively implementing current recommendations from the  CDC and the Florida Department of Health as our offices resume full services. Victor Basile, Administrator confirms, “This extraordinary time has fortified our mission to serve all patients, community, and staff with the utmost concern for excellence and safety. We’ve been working nonstop to update our protocols based on the latest advisories from medical experts.” During your next visit, you will notice several new procedures to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. temperature checks for patients and staff entering the facility reduced waiting room capacity for social distancing enhanced cleaning procedures masks for employees in patient care areas patients are asked to wear their own

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Essential Sight Saving Treatments in the Midst of COVID Crisis

Patients with sight limiting diseases like Macular Degeneration know the importance of regular treatments to preserve existing vision. The most common treatments to slow vision loss from wet macular degeneration are anti-VEGF intravitreal injections. These drugs are considered the first-line treatment for all stages of wet macular degeneration and are typically scheduled every 4-6 weeks to maintain effectiveness. That all changed in the past month with the outbreak of COVID-19. Both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and CDC have advised limited medical office visits to minimize risk and exposure to the novel coronavirus for patients and staff. To accommodate the situation, Florida Eye Institute quickly prioritized procedures to continue providing care for their most vulnerable patient populations. “Continuing to treat vision-threatening illness is our top priority even under these difficult circumstances,” confirms Dr. Thomas Baudo, a fellowship-trained retina ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. Retina specialists are frequently on the front lines of urgent care for sight limiting conditions like macular tears, detachments and macular degeneration. Victor Basile, Administrator for the multi-specialty practice adds, “We instituted policies as soon as the CDC recommendations came out. Whereas normally, we see hundreds of patients a day for glaucoma monitoring, corneal disease, cataract consultations

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