According to a recent Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll, a majority of the respondents said that the back-to-school season has not fully recovered from the pandemic and remains slower than it was in 2019 and 2020.
Respondents were asked to compare business during this back-to-school season with those of previous years. Fifty percent said they are somewhat or much less busy than 2020, while 55 percent said that it is somewhat or much less busy compared to 2019. However, nearly a quarter of respondents said that 2021 is shaping up to be somewhat or much busier than 2020.
With so many children experiencing increased exposure to digital devices during the COVID-19 pandemic, many doctors have seen the potential for growth in myopia management services. All of those who said that they added children’s services since 2019 reported that they added myopia management services. About 25 percent each said that they added or expanded their children’s optical and added or expanded a children’s area to the practice.
More than half of the respondents said that the percentage of children they see in the practice has held steady for the past few years. Approximately 22 percent of respondents said they are seeing fewer children, while 11 percent of respondents said they are seeing more children than in the past two years.
For about half of the practices represented by poll respondents, children under 17 comprise 11 to 25 percent, and one-third of the respondents said that less than 10 percent of their patients are 17 or younger.
The majority of the respondents (89 percent) were female ODs and work primarily in an independent optometric practice setting.