18th March 2020

What are we doing at Mackey Optometrists?

In these unprecedented times. we would like to reassure our patients that we are maintaining the highest standards of hygiene, with regular hand washing and strict cleaning of equipment, spectacles frames and surfaces with disinfectant.

We’re are also spacing our appointment times throughout the day to help against unessential contact with other patients.

We’re contacting people prior to their appointments with the latest Public Health Northern Ireland and College of Optometrists advice i.e. if they have travelled recently within the last 14 days or have a new continuous cough or high temperature, not to attend their appointment and self-isolate with the rest of their household for 14 days. We will be very happy to see you again once this period is over. 

We will continue to serve all our patients with the highest standards of care and if we can provide any further information or support please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We have added this advice to our website, to telephone messages, appointment reminders and recall texts and emails with a link to NHS 111 Online for any further patient queries.

We wish you and your families all the best over the next weeks and look forward to the end of this crisis. Please stay safe. 

  covid 19

Advice for spectacle wearers

It is important to try and keep your glasses clean and wash them regularly like your hands. People often touch their faces and their glasses during the day (more than 20 times per hour)  - habits that are being discouraged during the outbreak of COVID-19.

You can clean your glasses with your regular lens cleaner - however these do not contain alcohol anymore as this can affect lens coatings and some frame materials if used regularly. Beware of hand sanitiser that can also affect lens coatings and be painful in your eyes if you get it in there accidentally. If you do wash your eyes continually with lots of fresh running cold water.

Instead you can clean your glasses (frames and lenses)  with warm soapy water for 20 seconds similar to your hands when required and then use a lens cleaning cloth to ensure your lenses aren't smeared. 

Advice for contact lens wearers

Contact lens wearers can continue to wear their lenses ensuring that their hands are clean (washing for 20 seconds with warm soapy water)  when putting lenses on and off your eyes.

Clean your case regularly as directed with clean solution each day. Do not use tap water!. 

A very small percentage of patients with COVID-19 have reported conjunctivitis - it is unlikely that if you have a red eye that COVID-19 is the cause of it.

However you should not wear your contact lenses if you have red or irritable eyes and there is advice that you shouldn't wear contact lenses if you have the flu or cold either.

Please ensure that you have an up to date pair of spectacles available if you have to cease contact lens wear. 


Our practices will continue to be open over the coming weeks unless we get alternative advice. NIPEARS and emergency eye examinations are available - please phone ahead to your local Mackey Opticians and book an appointment - more information about NIPEARS here

If you have a cough or temperature or at risk of COVID-19 and need an emergency eye examination, please call NHS 111, who will direct you to a regional centre that can provide the eye care, in an environment equipped to manage the infection control risks. Primary care staff - optometrists and the RVH Eye Casualty - have been advised that they should not be seeing patients who have COVID-19 and will have to isolate you and call NHS111 if you visit our practice or them.


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