April 28, 2021

OMMA Our eyes and the pandemic

With the pandemic raging, many fellow citizens suffering from chronic ailments still need to see their physicians and/or receive treatment on a regular basis. Moreover, there may be emergencies when time is of the essence and, without ado, our doctor ought to be notified. So, what are some of these cases in opthalmology?

Patients with chronic simple glaucoma should still be making, despite the pandemic,  their regular visits to the eye doctor, every three or six months. They must also get enough drops and medication prescribed for a period of three months to avoid unnecessary movement.

Cataract patients, or people who wish to have laser surgery to treat a refractive error (myopia, astigmatism, hypermetropia), may proceed to have their operation since the facilities where such surgery is performed are rather safe to go to and, normally, no other medical specialists get to work there.

People suffering from macular disease should, for no reason whatsoever, discontinue treatment during a pandemic as they are running the risk οf causing irreparable damage to their eyes or even serious loss of eyesight.

Another big problem for many people are the so-called “floaters” (myodesopsias or muscae volitantes), which are noticeable when looking at white backgrounds or bright light and are normally due to vitreous detachment, making it imperative that fundoscopy be done.

The ever-increasing use of computers and electronic devices throughout this particular period has caused a number of issues to people using them. To prevent and treat problems, an eye doctor must be directly involved. It is also true that, since workstations have sadly been introduced in a rather off-the-cough manner, various factors such as the working environment, the position of the computer, type of monitor, user posture, employee physical condition as well as the eye and general medical history thereof, have hardly been taken into account by managers, supervisor, employers, and, most importantly, the users themselves.

Needless to say that due attention must be given to both the user and the features of the electronic device as well as the specificities of the physical space to limit asthenopia (ocular fatigue) and to ameliorate employee performance. And here’s a tip: every 50 minutes, take your eyes off the monitor and look away for 7”.

Ioannis Datseris, MD, PhD, FEBO

Eye Surgeon