MILLIONS of Brits are suffering from eye problems dubbed ‘coronavision’ after their sight deteriorated during lockdown, according to a study for the College of Optometrists. 

One in five adults in the country say their vision has become worse in the past four months, with one in three blaming it on too much screen time. 

Symptoms include blurry vision, difficulty focusing, and red or painful eyes, but many sufferers have simply put it down to eyestrain and thought it too trivial to seek help. 

Over half would be concerned about attending an optometrist appointment because they are scared it will put them at risk of coronavirus. 

The College of Optometrists, who commissioned an independent study of 2,000 people, warned: If you have symptoms get your eyes checked.  

Clinical adviser Dr Susan Blakeney said: “The research showed us that many people believe that spending more time in front of screens has worsened their vision. Working from home, video calls with friends and family, watching more TV, time spent looking at your phone…all that screen time adds up. 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. They will be able to discuss this with you and advise if you need to come in to see them. 

“We understand people are concerned about contracting coronavirus. But all optometrists should be following our guidance to ensure your visit is safe.” You can watch a video explaining what patients can expect and how they can prepare for a visit to their optometrist here.  

The College have issued five top tips on avoiding eyestrain.   

  • The 20-20-20 rule. Give your eye muscles a rest. Every 20 mins look at something 20 ft away for 20 secs. 
  • Remember to BLINK regularly. 
  • Have your screen BELOW eye level and between 40 to 75cm away. 
  • Make your text size BIGGER if you’re struggling to see it. 
  • Use DROPS if your eyes get dry. 

To find your local optometrist, visit our directory on our website LookAfterYourEyes.org.