Cyberchondria - Anxiety About Eye Health Conditions

Cyberchondria - Anxiety About Eye Health Conditions

Dr Google has always been a popular first step when we’re wanting to find out information about a symptom that we’re experiencing in ourselves or others, this is a good and a bad thing. Good if it helps us to be well informed, take notice of the symptoms and causes, form a list of questions which are then qualified, investigated, and treated by a health care professional. 

However, over the covid years of lock downs, reduced hours and services, and the current policy for close contact isolation, booking a timely appointment with a health care professional can sometimes prove tricky.   This situation has seen many of us relying more on Dr Google and dabbling in self-diagnosis and home remedies. This has given rise to a new term called Cyberchondria which is when googling health related searches results in increased worry and anxiety.

A recent study in the UK as reported there has increase in google health search terms such as  ;  what are the symptoms of ?,  warning signs of ?,  how to know if you have ?, The study included searches for eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, irritated red eyes  and eye dryness.  These eye conditions can be successfully managed and treated by an eye care professional but left to Dr Google you could find yourself on pages talking about brain tumors as Glaucoma can share similar symptoms such as severe headaches, eye pain, nausea, and vomiting, so it’s easy to understand how the term Cyberchondria was coined.

The most common eye health search term was for dry eyes where symptoms of stinging, burning, scratchy sensations, eye redness and sensitivity to light can be experienced.  Eye dryness has many causes and if you wear contact lenses dry eyes can become quite uncomfortable, to the point of reducing or giving up the freedoms of contact lenses altogether.  Consulting your eye care professional is paramount as they have many simple, practical solutions to address this condition including changing your contact lenses to daily wear with improved moisture.

Australia is the lucky country when it comes to healthcare with our Medicare system allowing access to treatment for everyone.   Many Eyecare Professionals bulk bill their services so if your concerned enough to be consulting Dr Google about an eye issue you’re experiencing, follow it up and consult your eyecare professional too.

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