Home Polls OD Stress Levels Nearly as High as Start of Pandemic

OD Stress Levels Nearly as High as Start of Pandemic

Eye care professionals report that their stress levels today are nearly as high as they were when Women In Optometry asked this question at the start and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sesame Street’s Elmo inspired WO and ROB to ask this question again: are you doing ok? With more than 200 million views and 45,000 quotes in the first week, WO wanted to know how its readers were doing as well.
The response rate was high and seemed to indicate that stress levels were, too.
In fact, all-time high stress levels were higher in February 2024 than they were in November 2021, and nearly as high as they were at the start of the pandemic.
The percentage of respondents that said their stress level was “status quo” has been steadily increasing, from 14% in May 2020 to 28% in February 2024.


Respondents, half of whom (52%) were female ODs, said their stress manifests itself in various ways. Here are the three most commonly reported symptoms:
  • Emotionally spent (65%)
  • Irritability (55%)
  • Sleeplessness (47%)

Respondents also reported suffering from headaches and stomachaches, lack of concentration and guilt over not being present.

Respondents were asked how they deal with their stress. Many reported exercise, meditation, prayer, yoga and other “me time” activities. Some said that they turn to self-medication (including alcohol and marijuana), eating or alternative therapies like hypnosis.

Others noted that they try to avoid stressful situations, including family drama and focusing on what they can control. Here are some of their responses.

“Honestly, the stress of inflation, politics, crime and entitlement of the younger generation is just too overwhelming, as it impacts every facet of our lives and every member of our family.”
“Stress levels have been a lot better after selling my practice.”
Just over half (52%) of respondents were female ODs. Another 37% were male ODs and 11% were non-OD females.

Have a poll idea? Curious about something? Email us here.

Check out past WO polls and responses here.

Featured photo credit: Getty Images, lemono

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