02 Mar 2021
With our changing lives and new patterns, have you stopped to think about how the pandemic might have affected eye health?
In the latest episode of Taking care, host Tash Miles is in conversation with optometrists Tim Martin and Luke Arundel. They discuss the effects on our eyes from a greater reliance on technology and the increased time spent indoors for work, study and social connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impacts have been wide reaching. From changes in our vision, to behavioural shifts such as switching from glasses to contacts to accommodate increased mask wearing, or the reverse: some contact lens users return to glasses while they’re at home.
‘Across the profession we’ve seen things that have never existed before, [such as] Mask Associated Dry Eye (MADE); this just has never been an issue,’ Luke said.
Excessive screen time coupled with the limitations on face-to-face optometrist consultations has also increased the risk of more serious eye diseases developing because they aren’t diagnosed early. This includes fewer opportunities to detect or treat early stages of Myopia (short sightedness).
‘Myopia is a big issue moving forward and into the future,’ Tim said, as new data has been published showing a significant increase in myopia in children.
‘More kids are coming in – now that they can (come in) out of lockdown – with short sightedness ... we’ll wait and see,’ Tim said.
As we catch up on missed appointments, it is a reminder to check in on our eye health. In this episode, Luke and Tim share lots of tips and tricks for practitioners, patients, parents and the general public.
Listen to the full episode.
The Taking care podcast series offers professional and consumer perspectives on current issues and answers some frequently asked questions about public safety in healthcare. Download and listen to the latest Taking care episode today. Ahpra releases a new episode fortnightly, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking Care’ in your podcast player.