Summary of COVID-19 medicines guidance: Eyes and vision

Tracy Duff, Lead Pharmacist, Lothian Medicines Information Service, NHS LothianPublished Last updated See all updates

This page summarises and signposts to medicine related guidance we’re aware of from professional and government bodies relating to coronavirus and eyes and vision.

Our advice is constantly reviewed as the pandemic situation evolves.

Whilst we have tried to ensure that the information on this page is complete, please report a concern if you feel anything is omitted or inaccurate.

To see our professional guidance summaries for other clinical areas, click here
Advice in this area includes:

Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth): COVID-19 clinical guidance and national information

Last updated – see individual guidelines

Our summary:

RCOphth is publishing continually updated guidance and advice for ophthalmology services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Links are included to relevant clinical and national advice, including;

  • RCOphth Management of Ophthalmology Services during the Covid pandemic (last updated 28 March 2020) – includes advice on changes to drug treatment regimens/ provisions in order to reduce exposure for patients that must attend, including immunosuppressed and vulnerable patients
  • RCOphth Medical Retinal Management Plan during COVID-19 (last updated 5 October 2020) – contains advice on whether to maintain, review or defer anti-VEGF therapy for new and existing patients, and monitoring requirements
  • RCOphth Glaucoma Service Management Plans during COVID-19 (last updated 27 March 2020) – includes recommendations on medicines for patients listed for surgery (including use of acetazolamide), and with new/ suspected glaucoma (according to NICE Guidance: NG81).
  • RCOphth Retinopathy of prematurity management during COVID-19 (last updated 07 April 2020) – advises on dispensing of anti-VEGF to the treating ophthalmologist if infants must be treated at a peripheral unit.
  • RCOphth Paediatric Ophthalmolgy management plan during COVID-19 (last updated 09 April 2020) – includes advice on atropine treatment for amblyopia, treatment of allergic keratoconjunctivitis, blepharitis/ chalazia with ocular surface inflammation, and “Shielding” for children categorised as extremely vulnerable due to immunosuppression (under ‘Controlled and stable uveitis’)
  • RCOphth British Oculoplastic Surgery Society COVID-19 Prioritisation (last updated 8 April 2020) includes reference to some drug treatment options for conditions which require immediate or urgent treatment, including severe blepharospasm and some ophthalmology tumours.
  • Uveitis National Clinical Study Group COVID-19 info hub which includes resources for patients and clinicians on the management of uveitis and other inflammatory disorders of the eye, FAQs, updated shielding advice and information on resuming ophthalmology services (last updated June 2021).
  • Resources listed under “Clinical guidance from trusts” include guidance on eye care in ITU from King’s College Hospital (not dated) and University Hospital Southampton (dated 09 April 2020) – these documents contain advice on suitable eye ointments, guidance on application of eye ointments and eye drops for clinical staff.

RNIB, Guide Dogs, Visionary, VICTA, Fight for Sight, Vision UK and the Macular Society working together in partnership: Sight Advice FAQ

Last updated (not stated)

Our summary:

  • “Medical Needs” section advises patients how to access their medication, what to do if they are worried about attending hospital for injections, to continue prescribed eye drops for any eye condition, and provides information on minimising infection risk when administering eye drops. There is also information on the coronavirus vaccine and vitamin D.

Administration update (28th January 2021): Information on coronavirus vaccine and vitamin D added to Sight Advice FAQ

Change history

  1. Resources checked and information remains correct
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