The COVID 19 lockdown has changed how everyone lives their lives, from working from home to organising home-schooling. It has presented us with new challenges as we adjust to lockdowns and restrictions, and our habits have undoubtedly changed drastically. Even though the lockdown has eased, many of us are now continuing communicating with colleagues, customers and friends via video calls, texts, and emails more than ever before. Coupled with less of us going for an eye exam due to the pandemic, there is an increased risk of experiencing eyesight issues during the lockdown.

  • 60 per cent of the world’s population requires vision correction.
  • 80 per cent of all visual impairment can be avoided or corrected.
  • 3rd most desired employee benefit

Attending regular eye examinations is one of the best ways to ensure your vision isn’t deteriorating, and your optician can also look out for other health problems during a routine test. Opticians are still open in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, offering routine examinations and urgent care.

Did you know a simple eye test can potentially save your life from a myriad of life-threatening health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, tumours and several neurological disorders?

We understand your health is important, so we have designed our EyeMed Schemes to you ensure your eyes are cared for. Some of the signs you should get an eye exam –

  •  Fuzzy vision
  •  Night vision
  •  Working with computers
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Halos
  • Difficulty adjusting from dark to light

EYESIGHT and VDU

What is Computer Vision Syndrome? Looking at digital screens for long periods can lead to a range of eye and vision problems. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) can be caused by all digital devices, not just computer screens, and as digital device use is on the rise and with more people looking at digital screens for longer, cases of CVS are also increasing.

Common symptoms of CVS include:

  • Tired eyes
  • Loss of focus
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Head, neck and shoulder pain
  • Dry eye

Did you know, a research by Magnivision suggests that 44 per cent of Brits over 35 experience eye strain at least once a week but do nothing about it.

Extended use of digital devices such as smartphones and electronic reading devices means eye strain is more prevalent than ever in UK adults.

CVS Causes

  • Prolonged screen use: your eyes must work harder when staring at a screen for long period of hours, adjusting in different directions and changing focus. Our blink rate can be reduced to almost half making us squint more which is likely to cause dry eye.
  • Computer games: gaming is linked to eyestrain, as the eye is forced to jump frequently between different points of focus.
  • Environment: poor lighting, screen glare and bad seating posture.

How to treat and prevent

  • Apply the 20-20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds and look at objects that are 20 feet away. Following this rule will help prevent eye fatigue.
  • Routine eyesight test and follow the optician’s recommendation of spectacles

EYESIGHT and DRIVING

DVLA Standards of Vision for Driving

  • The minimum eyesight standards of vision for driving are very specific. You must be able to read a car number plate from 20 meters distance.
  • The number plate must be a version made after the 1st of September 2001. But the driving eyesight law allows you to read it wearing spectacles or contact lenses if you need to use them.
  • There are other eyesight requirements to meet the minimum legal eyesight standard for driving. You need a visual acuity (sharpness) of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12).
  • As a rule, keenness of sight gets measured on the Snellen scale. You can use glasses or contact lenses for these eye test requirements. The scale measures your eyes together, or the remaining eye if you have sight in only one eye.
  • Having adequate field of vision is also an eyesight requirement for driving a car or riding a motorbike.

What are the dangers of driving below the legal eyesight standard?

  • Observations – poor eyesight means you may miss seeing and reacting to hazards. Official accident statistics show defective eyesight contributed to 70 people being killed or seriously injured in UK roads in 2016. That’s why it’s so important you meet the legal eyesight standard for driving. Changes to your normal route – any unexpected diversions or disruptions to a route you take all the time – could be missed by a combination of poor eyesight and complacency.
  • Impaired ability at night – you don’t want the things which go bump in the night to be you, driving over the neighbors’ bins. Even drivers with great eyesight will find themselves straining harder when driving at night, so if you’ve got already-weak eyesight, you’re making yourself particularly vulnerable. Drivers with defective vision are even more likely to experience blurred vision, dazzle and have difficulty focusing.
  • Road surfaces – you might be more likely to miss mud, gravel, and other debris on the road, or even potholes

Bad eyesight and driving are a potentially dangerous combination.

  • In 2016, uncorrected or defective eyesight contributed to more than 250 people suffering injuries on UK road.
  • According to a 2016 Direct Line study, 21 per cent of drivers who need glasses or contact lenses always drive without them and those motorists increase their chances of having an accident by four times.
  • It said up to 13.3 million people could be putting themselves and others at risk by not wearing glasses or lenses while driving.
  • Almost 6,000 drivers and motorcyclists had their licenses revoked in 2011 because they could not pass a standard eye test, according to the Road Safety Observatory.

HOW CAN EyeMed HELP?

At EyeMed UK, we have partnered with EyecarePlan to complement their optical DSE voucher system by launching a new monthly employee benefit membership scheme. Our monthly subscription plan offers a three tier optical / eyewear benefit scheme – Bronze / Silver / Gold with exclusive discounts on frame and lenses and an allowance of £100, £200 and £300 respectively towards the eyewear.

We are part of EssilorLuxottica group which is associated with eyewear brands like – Rayban, Oakley, Chanel, Burberry, Prada, Transition lenses, Varilux and many more. Our retail stores include David Clulow, John Lewis opticians and we partner with over 1000+ independent high street opticians across the UK. As a managed eyecare model, we assure that our members not only receive easy access to eyecare but excellent products and services.