The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate and dramatic impact on eyecare. Even now, more than a year since the emergence of this public health crisis, Covid-19 continues to overwhelm healthcare systems and resources around the globe. The highly infectious nature, hospitalisation and mortality rates associated with COVID-19 has impacted clinical care for many life-threatening conditions and has quite naturally shifted concerns away from non-fatal conditions that cause only morbidity or disability, eye disorders included.
Eyecare service impact
With the suspension or delay of optometric, medical, surgical, screening and clinical trial activities, COVID-19 has fundamentally reshaped ophthalmic clinical practice at every level. The need to balance our patients’ long-term and short-term eye health needs against the risk of them (and us) suffering health- and life-threatening complications from COVID-19 has had a significant influence on the way we practice, with eye services having to be reconfigured in ways which required practitioners to make decisions about whom to see and how.