Eye Risks with Proposed COVID-19 Treatments

To My Community,
Fort Collins Family Eye Care’s balanced approach to preventative eye care has translated well to cohesive accessibility virtually and in-person during this sensitive time. Preventatively and strategically reserving space for virtual and in-person examinations has offered our patients the choice of how best to direct their own health care. Our shared safety is paramount.

There are important ocular side effects of the proposed medications for treatment of COVID-19 that our community needs to be aware of. Damage to the health of retinal cells in the back of the eye is of primary concern with the proposed medications. Fort Collins Family Eye Care works diligently with other prescribers in the community who utilize these helpful, yet high-risk medications such as Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, and other HIV drugs. These potential treatments for COVID-19 must be used judiciously and in close coordination with preventative eye care providers.
Toxicity to the retina is real. My preventative approach is to examine both the structural and functional appearance and performance of your retina. How can we detect retinal toxicity at the earliest stages and adjust short or long term dosages of the high risk medications? How can we ensure retinal nutrition is optimized for long term health and best outcomes? If you or a loved one are prescribed these medications for COVID-19 related illnesses you should encourage an evaluation of the retina be performed. If you are currently on Plaquenil, or other immunosuppressants for autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, or skin conditions, for example, you need a second opinion to evaluate the health and longevity of your retina.

Fort Collins Family Eye Care is one of three locations in the state that offers this approach and technology. Technologies are portable, can be used in isolation, and the data may be analyzed virtually to continue supporting public safety for all involved. It would be wise to conduct a thorough, preventative eye examination before, during, and after any of these medications are utilized.

There have been more changes in the eye care industry over the past three years than in the past 30 combined. Now is the time to act upon and insist on prevention in your eye health. Now is the time to evaluate with whom to place your long term eye care. What eye care team is ready and equipped for continued changes in the future? Do you feel protected, especially in times like these? Fort Collins Family Eye Care is ready to welcome you and offer the preventative perspective for your overall wellness.

Steadfast in Prevention,
Dr. Jaclyn Munson

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