The Oxford Eye Hospital, based at the John Radcliffe Hospital, has seen an increase in the number of patients needing care for serious eye injuries.
People are encouraged to take extra care, particularly when gardening or carrying out DIY, by wearing eye protection when necessary, and locking up household detergents and chemicals away from children as they can cause nasty chemical burns - particularly to the delicate eye area.
Wearing glasses instead of contact lenses will also protect the eyes and reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.
Stella Hornby, clinical lead for ophthalmology and consultant ophthalmologist at the trust, said: “We’re seeing patients with more serious eye injuries and people have needed operations to repair injuries and which could potentially result in sight loss.
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“We think this is because people are locked down and they might be doing more DIY or gardening at home without using eye protection.”
National guidance states that people should avoid touching their face, in particular their eyes, nose, and mouth to avoid spreading the virus.
Another way to reduce the chance of eye complications is by not wearing contact lenses and to wear glasses instead.
Stella Hornby said: “Wearing glasses instead of contact lenses at the moment reduces the risk of contact lens-related complications, and reduces the need to touch your face.”
If patients have urgent eye problems, they should call the telephone triage number instead of attending our emergency departments.
The eye emergency department is offering telephone triage on 01865 234567 every day between 8.30am and 4.30pm (3.30pm on weekends and bank holidays).
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) is one of the largest acute teaching trusts in the UK, with a national and international reputation for the excellence of its services and its role in patient care, teaching and research.
The Trust employs over 12,000 staff and consists of four hospitals: the Churchill Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.
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