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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Eye Hospital

Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice.

Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

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Ocular Inflammation (Uveitis)

July 2020 - COVID-19 update

Appointments

We are increasing the number of ways that we care for our patients.

Please see 'Service updates' for details.

Apps

You can use a smartphone app to check your vision at home before your appointment, e.g. Peek Acuity for Android or Kay iSight for iPhone.

Cancellations

If you feel unwell, cancel your appointment, stay home and visit 111.nhs.uk

If you cancel your appointment for another reason, please give one week's notice so we can offer the appointment to someone else.

If we cancel your appointment, but you think you are getting a flare of uveitis, contact Eye Casualty or email: oeh.uveitis@nhs.net

Advice for immunosuppressed patients

This information is for adults and parents of children on immunosuppression for inflammatory conditions of the eye.

For information for patients and parents of children with uveitis, please see:

www.uveitisstudygroup.org

To join a mailing list of patients with uveitis please email:

info@uveitisstudygroup.org

We are acting on the assumption that patients on immunosuppression including oral steroids are at higher risk of getting infections or having a worse outcome if they get an infection. There is no clear evidence yet that this is the case.

It is likely that safe distancing is going to continue for several months in some form, and we may recommend that you start treatment with immunosuppressants during this time. Your doctor will discuss the pros and cons of this with you.

High risk and vulnerable patients

Patients are classified into high and lower risk groups based on several factors including the types and amounts of immunosuppressive treatments they are on, steroid treatment and other risk factors like high blood pressure or obesity.

Clinically extremely vulnerable adults

These are adults who could be especially vulnerable to a worse infection if they got COVID-19, for example those on 20mg of prednisolone or greater for more than four weeks. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable please follow Government advice on shielding.

Clinically extremely vulnerable children

These are children on >0.5mg/kg or ≥20mg for more than four weeks, so very few children on immunosuppression will be in this group. You may wish to speak to your child's doctor further about this if they are due to return to school.

Moderate risk

People who are not clinically extremely vulnerable may follow Government guidance on safe social distancing or stay at home if preferred. This applies to patients on one form of immunosuppressive medication.

Low risk

If you are on no immunosuppressants, are on hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, and are on no prednisolone, or if you have a steroid implant in your eye like Ozurdex or Iluvien and are also on no other immunosuppressant treatment, you are at no increased risk. Follow Government guidance on safe social distancing.

Children on immunosuppression for inflammatory conditions of the eye

Children have a much milder COVID-19 illness than adults and very few require admission to hospital. This is true for children whether on immunosuppressive medications or not.

The majority of immunosuppressed children do not seem to be at higher risk of severe disease than children in the general population.

We also know more about the risks of long periods of shielding, affecting both the physical and mental health of our children and young people.

The agreed advice, across all children's specialties, is that fewer children require shielding than was thought, and that most patients should be able to safely go to back to school, as long as they follow Government guidelines for social distancing and handwashing.

Links for parents and children

Symptoms of coronavirus

Symptoms and what to do - nhs.uk

Medical help

If you are unwell visit NHS 111 online which advises when to contact NHS 111 telephone service.

If you are taking immunosuppression and have symptoms of coronavirus we recommend you contact NHS 111 immediately for advice.

If you do call NHS 111, have a list of your medications and inform 111 of these.

Do not come to Oxford Eye Hospital if you have symptoms or if you have tested positive for coronavirus.

Contact us

Tel: 01865 234567

For medical advice and medication queries please email: oeh.uveitis@nhs.net

Our advanced clinical Pharmacist will contact you.

Please do not email the secretaries or doctors directly: this is not a secure route of communication and there could be a delay in response.

Further information on coronavirus can be found at www.uveitisstudygroup.org

About the Uveitis Service

Uveitis is inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, called the uvea or uveal tract.

The uvea is made up of the iris (coloured part of the eye), the ciliary body (ring of muscle behind the iris) and the choroid (layer of tissue that supports the retina).

Common signs of uveitis include:

  • pain in one or both eyes
  • redness of the eye
  • blurred vision
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • floaters (shadows that move across your field of vision)

Treatment for uveitis will depend on which areas of the eye are affected and what caused the condition.

Medication is the main treatment, but surgery can be used in particularly severe cases.