14th June 2021
3 minute read
Categorised under:
Industry News

Almost 1 in 3 adults say their vision has worsened since start of pandemic

New research from the College of Optometrists has found that nearly 1 in 3 adults in the UK noticed their vision get worse during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study polled 2,000 adults about their vision after the first lockdown in June 2020, and again as the lockdown began to lift in April 2021.

It found a clear increase in those worried about their eyesight, with 31 per cent of respondents noticing a negative change in their vision after the lockdown in 2021. Only 22 per cent of respondents noticed a negative change in their eyesight after the first lockdown in 2020.

Almost half (44 per cent) of those polled believed that their vision got worse because of increased screen time. You can find out more about technology and the impact it has on our eyes in our blog here.

Many who noticed a change in their vision did not seek help as they either did not believe the problem was serious, or because they felt that they would be at a higher risk for contracting Covid-19 if they went to see an optometrist.

It’s important to get your eye’s tested regularly to help spot conditions such as cataracts and not let fear hold you back from seeing the world. All health care settings have lots of measures in place to keep you safe when visiting them.

The research also revealed:

  • 21% of people struggle with everyday tasks due to problems with their eyesight
  • 38% feel that life would be more fulfilling if they could see better
  • 45% think they should get their sight tested more often that they do.

Daniel Hardiman, Clinical Adviser at the College of Optometrists, FCOptom said: “It is very important that if you feel your vision has deteriorated or if you are experiencing any problems with your eyes, such as them becoming red or painful, that you should contact your local optometrist.

“We know many people are concerned about the safety of visiting an optometrist, but please be assured that optometrists are open and are safe to visit. Your practitioner will ensure all the appropriate safety measures are in place.

“The research also showed us that many people believe that spending more time in front of screens has worsened their vision. You might have increased your exposure to screens with working from home, video calls and more television, and it can be tiring for your eyes. The good news is that this is unlikely to cause any long-lasting harm to your vision.”

The College has issued five top tips on avoiding eyestrain:

  1. The 20-20-20 rule. Give your eye muscles a rest. Every 20 mins, look at something 20 foot away, for 20 secs
  2. Remember to blink regularly
  3. Have your screen below eye level and between 40 to 75cm away
  4. Make your text size bigger to make it more comfortable to read
  5. Use lubricating drops if your eyes get dry.

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