2020:
Make this The Year of Vision!

EYE CARE PROCEDURES MAY BE DELAYED
The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises that for everyone’s health and safety, eye doctors are being urged not to see patients during the coronavirus pandemic except for urgent or emergency care.
This is important because:
  • Limiting contact is key to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
  • The entire nation must conserve vital disposable medical supplies (like masks and face-shields) so they can be used in hospitals where they are most needed.
Routine patient visits will likely be rescheduled, and any eye surgeries and procedures that are not emergencies will be postponed.
When to call your eye doctor for guidance:
  • You have macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy and get regular eye injections.
  • 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.
If you have developed conjunctivitis and have a fever and respiratory symptoms, call your doctor for advice. For more information refer to Prevent Blindness Statement for Eye Care Patients
CORONAVIRUS CAN SPREAD THROUGH THE EYES
Limit your eye exposure :
When a sick person coughs or talks, virus particles can enter your mouth or nose, but they can also enter through your eyes. You can also become infected by touching something that has the virus on it — like a table or doorknob — and then touching your eyes.

Coronavirus may cause pink eye, but it’s rare:
If you see someone with pink eye, it doesn’t mean that person is infected with coronavirus. But health officials believe viral pink eye, or  conjunctivitis , develops in  about 1% to 3%  of people with coronavirus. The virus can spread by touching fluid from an infected person’s eyes, or from objects that carry the fluid.   
RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN
AT HOME
We are sharing some online resources we have found for children's activities:

As a reminder, working with computers and other digital devices for long periods of time can cause digital eye strain . Prevent Blindness recommends placing a digital screen 20 to 26 inches away from the eyes and slightly below eye level. Also, adjust lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Computer monitors, smart phones and tablet screens are a large sources of blue light which can have a long-term effect on children's vision. Remember to take a break from screen time when able. More Tips can be found here
ATTENTION:
Mass Health Providers Servicing Populations Facing Access Challenges
The Mass Health Provider Access Improvement Grant Program (PAIGP) advises the  Request for Proposals for 2020 Cycle 2 application deadline has been extended to Thursday May 14th. Additionally, responses to submitted questions originally scheduled to be posted on March 18th, will be posted at a later date. The PAIGP grant aims to help eligible Mass Health Fee-for-Service providers increase access to healthcare and improve outcomes for patients with disabilities, or for whom English is not a primary language. Apply here!
HOW TO HELP YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Wash your hands a lot; follow good contact lens hygiene; and avoid touching your eyes.
1. If you wear contact lenses, switch to glasses for a while.
Consider wearing glasses more often, especially if you tend to touch your eyes a lot when your contacts are in. If you continue wearing contact lenses, follow  these hygiene tips  to limit your chances of infection.
2. Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection.
Corrective lenses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets (but they don’t provide 100% security). If you’re caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person, safety goggles may offer a stronger defense.
3. Avoid rubbing your eyes.
If you feel an urge to itch or rub your eye or adjust your glasses, use a tissue instead of your fingers. If you have dry eyes, 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. Then wash them again afterwards.

MORE INFORMATION:

APRIL IS WOMEN'S EYE HEALTH AND SAFETY MONTH
Women have higher prevalence of eye diseases and eye conditions than men, including AMD, Cataract, Dry Eye, Glaucoma and Refractive Error . Women are also more likely to have autoimmune conditions, which often come with visual side effects. According to the  American Academy of Ophthalmology fluctuating hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone can affect the eye’s oil glands, which can lead to dryness. Estrogen can also make the cornea less stiff with more elasticity, which can affect how light travels into the eye. The dryness and the change in refraction can cause blurry vision and can also make wearing contact lenses difficult.
As many women make the majority of their family's health care decisions and are often responsible as caregivers for the health care choices of their children, partners, spouse, and aging parents, it is important women make their own vision and eye health a priority to prevent unnecessary vision loss in the future.
Prevent Blindness provides free information on vision issues, vision changes during pregnancy, cosmetic safety and more.

Some tips for women's eye health:
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