Your Office Appointment
COVID-19-related Visit Changes
It has been well-documented that talking in closed spaces releases viral particles into the air; which can cause staff to become infected; staff could then spread the illness to hundreds of patients before demonstrating symptoms. For this reason, time and talking are being reduced to a minimum and the following precautions are being taken:
Masks covering the mouth and nose are REQUIRED on any person in the office aged 3 and over
The waiting room has been closed. Please call us when you arrive; we will let you know when to come in. All new patients and patients who have eye movement disorders who need to be checked prior to dilation will be asked to wait in their car for 30 minutes as the child's eyes are dilating.
Predilation is an option for some patients who have been seen by Dr. Patel before. We can call in eyedrops to your pharmacy for instillation prior to your appointment to reduce your wait time.
Availability of Telehealth is anticipated in the coming weeks; we will inform you if this is an option.
Preparing for Your Visit
Examining a child's eyes takes a great deal of skill and care. While taking a temperature requires seconds, trying to determine your child's vision requires their cooperation and a lot of patience.
We can best examine your child when they are calm and comfortable. If your child is hungry or anxious, they will take much more time to relax and participate during the exam.
You can prepare them by talking about the visit: we will have them look at some pictures or letters to check their vision and will use lights to look at their eyes. Some parents want to tell their child that eyedrops will be given at the exam, others feel it's best to let them know at the time we are about to instill the drops. Please feel free to emphasize - we do not give shots at our office!
Please be aware that we dilate every child being seen for the first time. In the same way you would not want a cardiologist to check your pulse and blood pressure but ignore your heart sounds, Dr. Patel must fully examine your child's eyes to make sure that all is healthy at the first visit. She can usually tell you whether dilation will be necessary at the next examination.
First examinations can last up to two hours, including check-in paperwork, checking vision for the first time, seeing the doctor for measurements, dilation (30 minutes of waiting for the drops to work), and the final portion of the examination.
Follow-up visits can last from 15 minutes to one hour, depending on the extent of the examination needed.