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.

Telehealth Visits for Eye ConditionsDuring 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 the wider community. Potential infections or emergencies can be screened by virtual exams to determine if an in-office visit is needed, avoiding potential exposure in waiting areas.

“The telemedicine visit is very useful in determining the urgency of an in-office visit,” confirms Dr. Zudans.

“Some ocular disorders like flashes, new floaters, or missing areas of vision must be seen immediately,” he continues, “while other conditions may still require an in-person exam, just not as urgently.”

Non-emergent conditions like dry eye, blepharitis, and allergies can all be easily diagnosed with a telemedicine exam as well as styes, broken blood vessels, and many eye infections.

HIPPA privacy regulations have been relaxed during the COVID pandemic and there are many options for virtual health visits: Facetime, Skype, or even email and text messages with digital photos. Medicare and most commercial insurances cover telehealth visits in the same manner as in-office visits.

For the uninsured, a telehealth visit can bring great peace of mind for an average of $100. If a diagnosis can be made virtually, prescriptions and treatments can be initiated without delay.

“While we are acutely aware of the limits of virtual exams, they have quickly become instrumental in safely identifying when an in-office visit is necessary,” concludes Dr. Zudans. “If you are concerned about your eyes or changes in vision, don’t delay, telehealth consults can save your sight.”

Florida Eye Institute has two locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. The practice offers the latest medical, surgical, and laser treatments for optimum vision.

For more information on telehealth visits or to schedule, call 772-500-2020.  Visit



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