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Protecting eyesight from screen overuse during lockdown 

Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2021. 11:44 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Amid concerns that more people are using screens whether on computers or tablets or so on, yet not following up on eye issues, the BBC says people are being asked to learn the “20-20-20” rule for protecting one’s eyesight: look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes you look at a screen. 

A survey by eye health charity Fight for Sight suggested half of respondents used screens more since the start of the pandemic; more than a third believed their eyesight worsened as a result; yet one in five were less likely to get an eye test now than before the pandemic amid concerns of catching or spreading the virus. 

Out of 2,000 people, half used screens more since Covid struck and a third (38%) of those believed their eyesight had worsened, a survey suggested. 

Respondents reported difficulty reading, as well as headaches and migraines and poorer night vision. 

In the UK, according to the charity, “the majority of opticians are open for appointments throughout lockdown restrictions”. But even simple screen breaks can help to prevent eye strain, the charity suggested. 

In the UK as in Belize, emergency medical appointments are generally allowed. Those who suspect they have eye problems are encouraged to see an optometrist – who will carry out your eye test when you visit an optician’s practice. If any problems are detected they will pass you on to an ophthalmologist – a medically trained doctor licensed to perform surgery and repair procedures. 

One clinical adviser stated of reports of deteriorating vision: “The good news is that this is unlikely to cause any permanent harm to your vision. However, 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, you contact your local optometrist by telephone or online.” 


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