Coronavirus BRIEFING

Problem Solved: How to Keep Exam Chairs Safe Without Ruining the Material


Cary Herzberg, OD
NEW YORK—Among the many challenges and difficulties that ECPs are tackling on a daily basis involves selecting the optimum cleaning technique for exam chairs. While there seem to be several opinions and options—some cleaners apparently are not compatible with the materials of the chairs—no real consensus has emerged to solve this COVID-19 challenge, according to various posts on social media.

Then, last week, an OD posted on one popular social media site: “What cleaner are you using on your exam chairs? Our chairs are being ruined.”

Among the responses:

• Sam’s Club Sanitizer, no smell & hasn’t damaged any of my upholstery or instruments

• Caviwipes (intermediate-level surface disinfectant wipes)

• Isopropyl alcohol or Clorox wipes

• Sulfuric Acid (when the chairs disappear, I’m retiring from this COVID-19 mess).

We assume the final response above is just facetiousness at work, but at these times it may not be safe to assume anything.

In any event, one of the best responses to this cleaning question came from Cary Herzberg, OD, of Herzberg Optical in Aurora, Ill., a multi-generational optometric practice offering the latest in services and technology. Dr. Herzberg has been in practice for more than 30 years and is a leader in the field of contact lenses.

His solution to the problem of sanitizing exam chairs is this: Safe Dent Premium Dental Products plastic full-chair covers, which are 29 inches by 80 inches and packaged in 120-sheet boxes. The cost: about 42 cents per sheet, he said.

“Patients really appreciate it, as do we,” he wrote in a ODs on Facebook post (and confirmed to VMAIL). They are actually not that expensive. … It may be [overkill], but I am in my seventies, making this all very real! Yeah, my patients are adolescents and young adults for the most part and are unlikely to get really ill, but we can’t be too careful.”