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Eye health concerns raised amid COVID-19

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:14 PST, Tue February 16, 2021

Last Updated: 4:41 PST, Tue February 16, 2021

A research survey released by BC Doctors of Optometry (BCDO) reveals that most British Columbians (73 per cent) have experienced at least one eye symptom or condition during the pandemic, and that 30 per cent did not address their concerns.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of British Columbians also express concerns about their increased screen time and its impact on their eye health. The most common eye symptoms or conditions experienced include itchy or irritated eyes (31 per cent), dry eyes (26 per cent), headaches (24 per cent) and eye floaters (20 per cent).

Perceptions that eye health concerns did not require medical attention (55 percent), concerns related to COVID-19 (39 per cent) and lack of knowledge of available online or phone services (20 per cent) are the three major reasons why people didn’t see an optometrist or a doctor to address their eye symptoms.

There are plenty of resources to ensure that British Columbians can receive proper eye treatment without putting their safety at risk. For example, people can use the Find a Doctor tool on the BCDO website to locate an optometrist in their area or arrange a virtual appointment over the phone or using secure telehealth platforms to determine if an in-person eye exam is required.

“All the open clinics in B.C. are complying with the guidelines to ensure visitors’ safety and the safety of others in the clinic,” said Pria Sandhu, CEO of BC Doctors of Optometry. “Your eye health should not be ignored even in the middle of a pandemic. BC Doctors of Optometry are committed to the safety and well-being of our communities, patients and staff, while delivering care to British Columbians for their eye care needs.”

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