People are being encouraged to book end of year check-ups in the wake of concerns that people may have cancelled or not scheduled their regular dental or optical appointments over the past year as a result of the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions.
Bupa said research suggests one-in-five people have delayed or avoided a visit to an allied health professional such as a dentist or optometrist during the last three months.
According to Dr Dwayne Crombie, the director of health services for Bupa Australia and New Zealand, the lead up to the end of the year is a timely reminder to book a dental check-up and eye test or reschedule one which may have been cancelled.
“As we approach summer, it’s a good time to stop and think about whether you have seen a dentist during the calendar year, and if you haven’t, to book one in for the near future.
“This is particularly important given how our routines and lifestyles have been altered over the past 18 months,” said Dr Crombie.
He said regular appointments with a dentist are a vital part of maintaining oral and general health.
The end of the year also serves as a reminder for people to book in their regular eye test that can identify changes to eye and general health.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and rolling lockdowns certainly changed the way children and adults learnt and worked, with many people exposed to screens for hours a day.
"Studies suggest screen time increased in children by an average of 3.2 hours a day following pandemic related school closures.
“People who suspect they, or their child, have developed a vision impairment or are experiencing a deterioration of an existing condition should visit an optometrist as soon as possible.
“Something as simple as a pair of glasses or contacts can make a significant and immediate difference to your daily life," added Dr Crombie.