Eye doctors may now see non-emergency patients

Executive Order banning elective procedures has expired

Eye doctors may now see non-emergency patients

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Executive Order banning elective procedures in the Commonwealth ended Thursday night, which also means dental offices and optometrists can start seeing non-emergency patients.

It’s been several weeks since patients were seen at Family Vision Care of Richmond. To deal with the influx of patients, staff will see the most urgent cases first.

“We have hundreds of patients who are scheduled for their primary exams at this point, so we’re having to go through a series of questions to prioritize which patients are in the most need right now," said Dr. Jeffrey Michaels.

Starting Monday, those with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, will go first, but the office is working to make visits as safe as possible. Patients will be required to wear masks and have their temperatures taken.

When it comes to exams, rooms will be disinfected between patients and optometrists will keep their distance thanks to a piece of technology called a phoropter.

“Normally I would’ve been sitting in front of the patient for a long period of time, at this point I’m able to be at a good, safe distance away from the patient, who can verify her vision and this machine, which is called a phoropter, is flowing into our computers and allows us to keep a social, safe distance," said Dr. Michaels.

As for trying on glasses, each pair will be disinfected between patients.

“We’re still expecting people to come and try on glasses, this is one of the most basic things that can be done," said Dr. Michaels.

Again, Family Vision Care of Richmond will see their most urgent patients to start, so not everyone will be able to call and make an appointment right away. You should call your optometrist to see how they’re handling the influx of patients.

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