A Fight for Sight survey showed that many people feel their eyesight has worsened after spending more time in front of a screen during lockdown.
The study showed that out of 2,000 people, 50% had increased their use of screens since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 38% of these people said they believed their eyesight had deteriorated, saying they experienced issues with reading, headaches, migraines and depleted vision at night.
Fight for Sight recommends that people look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes of screen time they have. They are encouraging people to follow this so-called "20-20-20" rule as a method of protecting their eyesight. Just a short break from screen time can help maintain healthy eyesight.
Fight for Sight also reminded people that opticians are still open and that leaving one's house to go for an eye appointment is allowed. Government guidelines also highlight that opticians appointments count as medical reasons.
The chief executive for Fight for Sight, Sherine Krause, told the BBC, "More than half of all cases of sight loss are avoidable through early detection and prevention methods. Regular eye tests can often detect symptomless sight-threatening conditions."
The College of Optometrists has also encouraged its members to stay open to provide eye care to those who need it.
Paramdeep Bilkhu is a clinical advisor. He said, "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."
Both the UK Ophthalmology Alliance and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists reported that more than 10,000 people in Britain had missed eye care appointments over the summer of 2020.
It is thought that people are fearful of attending eye appointments due to the pandemic and are concerned about infection.
A spokesperson from A Royal College of Ophthalmologists said, "It is important that people who have found significant changes in their vision seek the advice of an optometrist who will examine, and determine if the changes require further investigation by an ophthalmologist - a medically-trained eye doctor."