Survey explores uptake of eye examinations during the pandemic

Johnson & Johnson Vision found that one in three adults believe their vision has deteriorated as a result of the pandemic, but many still do not plan to book an eye exam

sight test
Pexels/Anthony Shkraba

New research from Johnson & Johnson Vision has found that, while some adults have concerns about their vision, they are delaying taking the preventative step of booking a sight test.

The annual Global Eye Health Survey found more than one third of British adults polled believe their vision has deteriorated since the start of the pandemic.

While 88% of those surveyed admitted they feared losing their sight more than any other sense, 68% of respondents said they did not plan to schedule an eye exam in the year ahead. Only 40% of respondents had an eye exam in the past year, the company found, suggesting this is due at least in part to the pandemic.

The research found that 82% of respondents did recognise eye examinations as important to their overall health.

The survey was conducted as part of Johnson & Johnson Vision’s Prioritize Your Eyes campaign.

Jakob Sveen, Johnson & Johnson Vision’s managing director for Northern Europe and general manager for the UK and Ireland, commented that through the research and campaign, the company aims to educate the public about the importance of regularly visiting their optometrist, “for the sake of their vision and overall health.”

He explained: “This research shows that only one in four Brits have discussed the connection between eye health and other illnesses with a medical professional.”

Exploring the public’s views on eye health, the survey also questioned respondents on areas including cataracts, myopia, and ageing.

Discussing cataracts, more than half (58%) of those surveyed who had experienced cataract surgery said they would have had it sooner had they realised how much better their vision would be, while 59% said they did not realise how bad their vision was until after the surgery.

Surveying respondents on children’s eye health and myopia, the company found that 74% of British parents believe it is more important for their child to receive an eye exam than it is for themselves, yet less than a quarter (23%) plan to schedule an appointment in the coming year for their children.

This is despite 57% of parents sharing that they are concerned about their child being diagnosed as myopic.

The survey also sought to understand the attitudes of the public towards eye health and beauty, finding that one in five respondents suggested that they are more concerned about how their eyes make them look than the health of their eyes.

A quarter of respondents said they worry that wearing varifocals would make them look old, while 29% worried it might impact their self-confidence. The company suggested, “only 43% know that multifocal contact lenses are available as an alternative to glasses.”

Through the campaign, Johnson & Johnson Vision is encouraging the public to book an eye examination as “the single most effective way for people to protect their eyes and uncover the best eye care solution that works for them.”