Patient, doctor explain why you shouldn’t avoid check-ups during pandemic

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Many people are staying at home more often because of COVID-19. While having your groceries delivered and ordering takeout may be safer, one doctor says it is important for you to continue to make your regular appointments and a patient is sharing his story.

77-year-old George Griffin has worn glasses since second grade and he suffers from glaucoma and cataracts. He recently had surgery to treat these conditions and now he’s encouraging others who may be afraid to go to their routine doctor’s visits due to a fear of the virus to continue going to preserve their quality of life and remain healthy.

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“You cannot afford to disregard those medical procedures that will make your life better,” Griffin said. “There are all sorts of procedures that need to be done even with the pandemic raging.”

Putting his trust in medical professionals, Griffin says to rest assured that they have your best interest in mind.

“They aren’t going to endanger you nor are they going to endanger themselves,” he said.

Griffin says he was impressed at a recent eye appointment in Wilmington, saying the staff is enforcing masks, allowing patients to wait in their cars, and providing socially distanced seating indoors.

Dr. Matthew Robinson, an ophthalmologist at Ochsner Eye, says they work to create a safe place for their patients.

“We tell them, if they feel sick then they definitely shouldn’t come to the exam, but if they’re doing fine otherwise it should be a safe environment for them,” Robinson said.

Explaining the importance of routine appointments, Robinson says they are crucial to keeping track of patients’ conditions, like glaucoma as symptoms may not always be detectable unless tested at the office and if it goes untreated it can lead to blindness.

“We set up a certain plan for each patient depending on the severity of their illness, their condition, and the frequency of their visits and the control of their condition is dependent on that,” Robinson said.

If you do feel unsafe leaving home to head to the doctor, Robinson says to make sure to consult your physician to see if your appointments can be postponed without impacting your condition.