When COVID-19 started spreading to countries throughout the world, few thought it would also affect optometric health. But in hindsight, patients and optometrists alike should have seen this coming.
Longer hours spent in front of computer screens, infection from germs and bacteria, and irregular sleeping patterns have caused eye complications in patients. Furthermore, the limited movement has resulted in fewer people attending eye exams and vision consultations.
Here are some common eye issues that have been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and how patients can avoid falling victim.
1. Cornea Damage
Cases of physical damage to the cornea have increased over the pandemic era. For example, protests in many cities throughout the world resulted in a rash of eye injuries. Some victims were struck in the eye by rubber bullets, others by debris from the commotion. Foreign objects in the eye typically affect the cornea. This sensitive tissue covers the front portion of your eye, protecting your pupil and iris.
Another cause of cornea damage during the pandemic is physical activity within the home. People took advantage of the free time to set up mini-workout areas in their living rooms, basements, and bedrooms. Others also decided to carry out home improvement projects and outdoor chores such as yard work. These activities increased cases of foreign objects causing abrasion to the cornea.
To prevent eye damage while at home, make sure you wear protective coverings during intense physical activity. You should also avoid using sharp or otherwise dangerous tools without appropriate expertise.
With millions of people working from home, hours spent in front of computer screens have increased. Staring at a digital screen for prolonged periods can cause eye strain, dryness, itching, and blurred vision. Furthermore, most people set their screens to maximum brightness without using blue light filtering. The sharp light could affect your retina, causing dryness and irritation.
What's even more concerning is that many people don't know the warning signs of dryness. Itching, burning, and irritation are common symptoms that computer users tend to ignore during a busy day at work. Consider taking frequent breaks, lowering screen brightness, not using your computer in the dark, and consulting with your eye doctor if the symptoms mentioned above persist.
It's not just computer users that are experiencing eye irritation. Children may also be exposed to red-eye by watching long hours of TV and having irregular sleeping patterns. Sleeping with the light on could also result in eye strain and the tenderness of your child's optical nerve. Control how much on-screen time children are getting during this pandemic era.
Contact a local eye doctor to get more tips about protecting your eyes.