A third (33%) of people have noticed a change in their eyesight and 12% have noticed a deterioration in their hearing during lockdown, a new survey reveals.
The figures, released today by Specsavers, show that half (49%) of people are more health aware as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but around 80,000 were unable to attend routine appointments during lockdown restrictions.
Specsavers teams in Letterkenny and Donegal Town are advising anyone who has noticed a change in their eye health or hearing to seek professional help.
Specsavers Letterkenny Audiologist Martina McNulty, says: “With people less able to access eye tests over the last few months, opticians are now seeing more eye conditions throughout Ireland, including glaucoma, dry eye, red eye, detached retinas and, unfortunately in some cases, more severe conditions.
“Lockdown has also been a really challenging time for our audiology customers as they rely heavily on their hearing aids to stay connected to friends, family and with the daily news. We would encourage anyone who struggled with their hearing or eyesight during the pandemic to make an appointment as soon as possible.”
To help detect eye conditions, Specsavers has invested in the latest optical technology. Optical Coherence Tomography is cutting-edge, hospital-quality equipment that allows opticians to view the eye in more detail than ever before.
“OCT is a quick, non-contact and painless way to detect treatable eye conditions much sooner than a regular eye test and can in fact detect some conditions up to four years in advance. What’s more, a customer’s OCT images are stored on file, so Specsavers optometrists can monitor any changes to their eyes over time,” explains Ms McNulty.
Specsavers has introduced a series of measures to create a safe and comfortable experience in store for customer and staff. These include restrictions on the number of customers allowed in store at any one-time and strict social distancing rules. Keeping in line with HSE recommendations, Specsavers staff use personal protective equipment (PPE) and all testing equipment and frames are thoroughly sanitised before and after each use. For people who are still anxious or unable to venture out.
Specsavers RemoteCare telephone and video consultation is available via their website www.specsavers.ie/