COVID-19 and Ocular Health

Published 10 Jun 2021

The impact of COVID-19 restrictions has led to a range of physical and mental health issues for many people in our communities, and this includes ocular health.

Increased screen time

Working from home has become common practice for many, and this has led to increased use of digital devices – mobile phones, computers, tablets. Did you know that just two hours of continuous screen time per day can be enough to cause a number of ocular problems, most commonly digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain may include symptoms such as:

  • Headache and eye pain
  • Redness and water eyes
  • Burning and dryness
  • Difficulty focusing and blurred vision

Haven’t been working from home? You may also be impacted.

The pandemic has led to a significant increase in the use of digital devices for entertainment, video calls, online classes, and even online shopping.

Luckily, there are several things that your Optometrist can help you implement to alleviate any of the related symptoms. These can vary from tear supplements, blinking exercises, regular breaks, and prescription lenses.

Postponed Eye Examinations

For most of 2020, GMHBA Eyecare had followed advice from Optometry Australia that non-urgent eye examinations be postponed ensuring the safety of customers and staff. This has meant that many regular eye examinations have not taken place.

Although ocular issues or acute visual disturbances may be obvious to you, there are a number of ocular related health concerns which may arise without obvious symptoms. These include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, ocular hypertension, and macular degeneration to name a few. Ensuring you maintain regular eye checks will help in monitoring for any eye health related issues.

Masks

If you wear glasses regularly, you may be familiar with ‘spectacle fogging’ that mask wearing can often cause. What you may not realise, is that since the introduction of masks, a specific type of dry eye has also manifested. Mask associated dry eye (MADE) refers to ocular dryness and irritation which may occur due to wearing of a mask. This can occur when a poorly fitted mask is worn and allows increased air to reach your eyes causing the tears to dry quickly.

What to do

If you have experienced any of these issues or have not had an eye examination in the last 12 months, we recommend making an appointment with a GMHBA Optometrist.

Book an appointment today.

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