The College of Optometrists have published survey results showing a significant number of people felt their vision got worse during lockdown. The research found that:
- 22 percent of people noticed their vision get worse during lockdown
- 32 percent of people believe that spending more time in front of screens has worsened their vision. This was a particular concern for those aged between 18 and 34, with 42 percent feeling screen time caused their vision to deteriorate.
Dr Susan Blakeney FCOptom, Clinical Adviser for The College of Optometrists said: “We know that many people will be concerned about vision changes during lockdown. It is very important that if your vision has deteriorated or if you are experiencing a red or painful eye you should telephone your local optometrist.
“Optometric practices have made significant changes to ensure that eye care can be delivered to the high standards of safety that the public expect during the Pandemic. Optometrists will be expected to comply with College guidance on social distancing, adapting the sight test, observing hygiene control measures and wearing personal protective equipment, such as medical face masks, during the consultation. *
“The research also showed us that many people believed that spending more time in front of screens has worsened their vision. I would encourage you to see your Optometrist if you are concerned.”
The College of Optometrists advice on avoiding eye strain:
- Apply the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That will give your eye muscles a rest.
- Position your device screen so that it is between 40 and 75cm from your eyes and is held below the level of your eyes .
- Avoid using a screen when very tired.
- If you are affected by dry eye, consider using lubricating eye drops.