For Patients Ophthalmology

Don’t let your eyes down in lockdown – keep up your eye tests, says Optegra

Optegra’s UK eye hospitals are staffed by specialist optometrists, healthcare technicians, and experienced NHS trained surgeons, a popular choice for private eye care. Recent research commissioned by Optegra has discovered a worrying trend at the heart of the covid pandemic. It looks like far too many of the nation’s spectacle wearers are avoiding sight tests in an effort to also avoid catching covid, and some of them could be suffering from serious undiagnosed eye health issues. 

The numbers behind the study

Optegra’s research revealed a concerning 36% of British spectacles wearers have decided not to have a sight test during the pandemic, and an even more worrying 63% say they would only visit their optical practice during the pandemic if they had a ‘distinct problem’ with their eyes, in other words, something noticeable. 

37% of those asked claimed they wouldn’t get help even though they know they need to update their prescription. 

At the same time 20% of glasses-wearers have experienced itchy or dry eyes, 19% have encountered headaches, 14% have experienced declining vision, and 14% have noticed eye strain or blurry vision.

What the eye experts say 

As Optegra’s respected medical director and ophthalmic surgeon, Amir Hamid, says, “It is very concerning that people are ignoring changes to their vision. At worst, these can be signs of a serious eye condition which needs urgent treatment; or at best, an indication that their glasses prescription needs to be updated. These symptoms simply should not be ignored and we very much encourage everyone who notices changes in their vision to ‘test and treat’ without delay.”

Uncovered – A collection of face mask-specific issues 

People who responded said facemasks created issues with their spectacles steaming up, and just under a quarter of those, 24%, said their glasses steam up every single time they wear a mask. Combining facemasks and spectacles also makes 34% of people feel claustrophobic and 31% completely hidden. 

33% said they felt unable to communicate clearly and 35% expressed concerns about hygiene when taking their spectacles on and off, simply because it involves having to touch their face. 12% of responders to Optegra’s survey said this had made them think about having corrective eye surgery to remove the need to wear spectacles, and 51% claimed they don’t wear their glasses as often as they know they should. 66% of glasses wearers said they have no idea how to clean their frames in a way that’ll stop the steaming up you get when you wear a mask. 

When your eyesight is compromised, life in general may become difficult. If you’re struggling with your quality of vision, please don’t leave it too long. It’s much wiser to ‘test and treat’. 


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