Due to more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many routine medical appointments were missed, skipped, or delayed. Now, health experts warn about a possible uptick in certain health issues.
“Delayed care can have deleterious effects due to worsening of current underlying conditions, missing opportunities to catch a new or developing disease early in its course and not receiving preventive care that can reduce one’s chance of developing a disease,” Dr. Vibin Roy tells HuffPo.
The experts detail the issues doctors are seeing more now that the world is getting back to normal and what to do about them.
Eye health - Experts note an increase in digital eye strain - which can lead to dry, tired, sore, watery eyes, blurred vision and headaches - and is linked to spending more time glued to our devices and in front of computer screens while working from home. To help, eye doctor Jennifer Wademan suggests, ″Every 20 minutes, remind yourself to take your eyes off the screen and look at something that’s at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds... [and] turn down the brightness level or use night mode on device screens to reduce the amount of blue light exposure, especially during the evening hours."
Increased back and neck pain - Working from home is taking a toll on people's necks and backs. “Neck, back, and shoulder pain have been frequent issues for many people after spending the past year working from home, and their workstation ― or lack thereof ― is typically the culprit,” Dr. Michael Richardson tells HuffPo, warning against using areas of your home like kitchen counters, soft couches, and beds as your workspace. Find out what The Doctors suggest getting to help with your lower back pain and the work-from-home essentials needed for optimal health.
High blood pressure - Stress, a lack of exercise, and missing routine doctor visits have to lead to high blood pressure. Experts recommend making an appointment to get your blood pressure checked and to speak with your doctor to determine how to address it. And, if stress is the problem, try this quick mediation trick to help ease your stress levels.
Increases in diabetes and heart disease - Weight gain, poor eating habits, and an increase in alcohol use has led to an uptick in these health issues. HuffPo's health experts urge anyone who has been putting off their appointments to schedule a visit with their doctor.
Mental health problems - Issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD have been on the rise over the past year, especially in teens and young adults. The Doctors stress that mental health issues should be treated like any other health concern and suggest seeking help from a mental health professional if you are dealing with any of these issues.
Dental issues - Due to people avoiding checkups, dental care issues like cracked teeth, cavities, jaw pain are on the rise. In addition to keeping up with proper brushing and flossing, the experts urge you to see your dentist for a cleaning and checkup.
New skin issues - Due to wearing masks more than ever, the skin issue of "maskne" is something dermatologists are seeing more of. The experts suggest making sure to wash your face twice daily and use a hydrating moisturizer. The Doctors spoke to dermatologist Dr. Azadeh Shirazi who shared how you can prevent "maskne" breakouts from happening.
Increased drinking and drug use -The pandemic caused people to drink more and an increase in substance abuse due to people being isolated, having higher stress levels, experiencing job loss, and having routines and structure disrupted. Find out how to rethink your relationship with alcohol with these small steps and if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please call the confidential and free National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit their website.
More incidents of cancer - Due to delayed care, lack of routine exams, and regular blood work, health experts tell HuffPo there has been an uptick in cancer cases and urge patients to get their preventative screenings, like colonoscopies and mammograms.
Worried you have missed a routine health screening? Find out all the exams and tests your need and at what age.