AMD care continues with new adaptations, safety measures during COVID-19

Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration or have been getting treatment for the disease for many years, you may be concerned about your eye care during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Patients and their families should feel assured that OHSU Casey Eye Institute is responding to the crisis with specific measures and accommodations to ensure your health and safety while providing the best possible AMD care. Many of these guidelines are based on recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Getting care

Patients with active cases of wet AMD are continuing to be seen at Casey clinics for imaging and treatment as needed. Other AMD patients, such as those with early or intermediate AMD, may have an imaging only visit at one of Casey’s offices and then follow up with their eye doctor by telephone or video. “Telehealth may also help us see patients who are referred by outside providers. We can review their imaging records, and discuss the findings, expectations, prognosis and any necessary follow up with a virtual visit through OHSU’s MyChart,” says Peter Campbell, M.D., M.P.H., a retinal specialist at Casey. (See below for more information on setting up a MyChart account.) Talk to your doctor about what options for care are best suited for you during this time.

Safety precautions

Casey Eye Institute, along with other OHSU patient care facilities, have adopted public health measures to keep patients safe during their visit. These include:

  • Wearing face coverings, even if you don’t have symptoms. “It helps people who are wearing masks, but more importantly, it protects everyone else,” explains Casey retinal specialist Thomas Hwang, M.D.
  • Encouraging visitors to come alone, although they may be accompanied by one healthy adult.
  • Minimizing exposure to other people, including scheduling follow-up visits by telephone, installing Plexiglass barriers at clinic front desks and having one-way hallways to and from exam rooms.
  • Disinfecting surfaces extensively after every patient visit.
  • Temporarily pausing enrollment in clinical trials. Patients who are already enrolled in a clinical trial will continue to receive study treatments.

Virtual visits through MyChart

If you are a patient at OHSU Casey Eye Institute, consider signing up for OHSU’s MyChart. This online patient portal allows you to access virtual visits with a provider by video or telephone, communicate safely with your doctor, receive patient education information and pay bills. To sign up for an OHSU MyChart account, you will need an activation code and your medical record number. You can find your code in the “MyChart Activation Letter” from your doctor’s office, on the “After Visit Summary” that you get after your doctor’s appointment or by contacting your OHSU provider or an OHSU Pharmacy. Your provider or the pharmacy can also provide you with your medical record number.