Since lockdowns began, we have noticed an increase in customers suffering with headaches and reduced quality of vision. It is likely that excessive screen time could be a contributing factor in this increase.
More people than ever are working from home due to Coronavirus. Research revealed that 60% of UK adults are currently working from home. 26% of Brits plan to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally after lockdown. Prior to lockdown 1.54 million people worked from home for their main job, astonishingly that is just 6% of how many do now during lockdown. In 2011 this figure was just 884,000.*
It has been suggested that people working from home are taking less screen breaks from computers and phones than they usually would have done when working in their usual surroundings. It's not just working from home which can contribute to eye strain – being home more than usual has led to more screen time due to:
- Online shopping
- Watching TV
- Home schooling
- Online meetings with friends and family
- Playing video games
- Browsing social media channels
It has surprised some people when they have looked back at the amount of screen time accrued each day. Eye strain is not the only potential result, this much screen time can also lead to headaches and dry eye too. Obviously during these difficult times, all this extra time spent using computers cannot always be easily avoided. We recommend the use of digital wellbeing apps which help you to manage how much time is spent using digital devices.
Now more than ever we try to remind everyone of the 20-20-20 rule to help prevent eye strain. For every 20 minutes of screen time, try to look away at something that is 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.
"With the Covid-19 pandemic having forced so many of us to move to digital working, online learning and even virtual socialising, it is not surprising that our screen time has soared this year. However, it’s vital that the benefits of increased digital access and use during lockdown do not come at the detriment of our eye health. We would urge employers to take their responsibilities towards staff seriously during this period of extended home working and to encourage employees to take regular breaks from screens.
People should also continue routine eye care throughout the pandemic and to get their eyes tested if they feel their sight has deteriorated. More than half of all cases of sight loss are avoidable through early detection and prevention methods and regular eye tests can often detect symptomless sight-threatening conditions."
Chief Executive at Fight for Sight, Sherine Krause
Don't put it off
Since we re-opened after the first lockdown, several new measures have been introduced to keep customers and teams safe. In that time, we have received such encouraging feedback on how safe customers felt during their visit. It is vitally important to attend your eye care appointments, even if it's time for your routine visit - it's not just about your eye health, during your sight test all kinds of health conditions can be detected at an early stage.
Easing of restrictions
As we see restrictions easing in line with the Government road map, we will also very gradually ease restrictions in-store. Our priority remains to keep you all safe in our stores, so even as restrictions ease across the country you can feel comfortable knowing that your visit to Barracloughs will still be a safe one.
*Source: finder.com (March 2021)