When it comes to a sight for sore eyes the beach is unbeatable, researchers have found.
A poll of 2,000 adults identified the most welcome scenes in life with experiences enjoyed by the coast, including sea views, an open beach and the sunrise and sunset, topping the list.
Home comforts are also popular with a third loving nothing more than the sight of fresh bedding while 26 per cent like to look at a clean house.
The study, commissioned by Scope Eyecare, also found the UK is a nation of animal lovers, with birds flying around in the morning and a dog happily wagging its tail featuring in the top 50.
Seeing a loved one or friend for the first time in a while also made the list, with 64 per cent saying this makes them feel happy, 27 per cent sentimental and 42 per cent excited.
A sixth even said a fully stocked supermarket shelf is a ‘sight for sore eyes’ – which may have not made the cut prior to the current pandemic.
Eye care expert and oculoplastic surgeon, Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai said: “It’s clear from the research how important sight is in terms of lifting people’s spirits.
“Eyesight and healthy eyes are often taken for granted, and that’s even despite the prevalence of sore and dry eyes – something which affects half the population.
“While ‘lockdown eyes’ are a definite result of increased screen time, less natural light and even stress, there are lots of things we can do to ease discomfort and minimise potential longer-term damage.
“If you’ve been spending long periods of time in front of a screen, check in with how your eyes are feeling by taking the new #EyePromise health test.”
The research also found the positive feeling from experiencing a sight for sore eyes lasts almost five hours.
As the world’s lockdown restrictions ease, the study asked what participants would most like to see and found more than a third of adults have a bucket list of places they want to visit.
More than 25 per cent want to get out and about in UK cities while 31 per cent would rather go abroad – with the likes of Australia, New Zealand and Japan popular choices.
And 40 per cent of over 55s said they’d like to promise themselves they will see more of their children and grandchildren while a third hope to reunite with old friends they have lost touch with.
A further two fifths of adults vow to visit more beaches in life and 42 per cent would like to see more nature.
It was found people experience an average of five sights for sore eyes during a typical week, but this has decreased by 20 per cent during lockdown.
But more than half admitted they took nice sights for granted pre-lockdown, with 42 per cent actively looking for a positive image each day during isolation.
More than half of adults even agreed an uplifting, unexpected sight has been known to improve their day.
However, more than a tenth are ‘sick of the sight of’ their computer monitor while 24 per cent are fed up of looking at the same four walls.
Other things people have grown tired of seeing include politicians (32 per cent) certain celebrities (38 per cent) and other people’s selfies (31 per cent).
And with people spending more time at home than ever, piles of washing up, a dusty house and an overflowing laundry basket are also unwanted sights.
The study also found that the lockdown has resulted in 42 per cent looking at screens for longer than usual which may explain why a quarter have experienced an increase in tired eyes.
A third of respondents notice dry eyes when using a computer, while a sixth do so when scrolling on their phone.
Half of those polled, via OnePoll, even claim to experience uncomfortable eyes every day.
It also emerged 52 per cent believe it is important for them to keep their eyes healthy, with 60 per cent getting regular eye tests, 58 per cent wearing their glasses when needed and 53 per cent ensuring they get enough sleep – all crucial to maintaining good eye health.
However, a quarter want to take better care of their eyes than they currently do, with many admitting to some bad eye health habits – including almost two thirds of women
who sleep in makeup
And more than half of adults fail to take regular screen breaks while 58 per cent don’t get enough natural light.
Dr Shah-Desai added: “When concentrating on digital screens our blink rate decreases from eight clinks per minute to just one or two, leading to eye strain and dry eyes.
“With 42 per cent of people experiencing a notable difference in their eye health since lockdown, including tiredness, soreness and dryness, it’s more important than ever to look after our eyes.
“Using eye drops like Hycosan to rehydrate the eyes, and using a moist heat mask like Optase to restore moisture levels are simple ways you can keep your eyes healthy so you can fully enjoy life’s ‘Sights for Sore Eyes’.
SCOPE Eye Care has launched the new #EyePromise health check to see if eyes are feeling the strain of lockdown living, visit www.scopeeyecare.com/
TOP SIGHTS FOR SORE EYES:
1. A sea view
2. A sunset
3. A beach
4. A sunrise
5. Fresh bedding
6. A rainbow
7. The postman delivering a parcel you’ve been waiting for
8. Fresh snowfall
9. Birds tweeting and flying around in the morning
10. Reuniting with an old friend
11. A flower blooming
12. A surprise visit from someone
13. A freshly baked cake
14. A newly cleaned house
15. Your pet
16. The weekend weather forecast showing sun
17. Your food arriving in a restaurant
18. A bouquet of flowers
19. Seeing a sign for the end destination after a long drive
20. Old photo albums
21. A happy dog while on a walk
22. Your bank balance on payday
23. A cold pint on a summer’s day
24. An elderly couple holding hands
25. A traffic-free road when driving
26. A newly decorated room in your home
27. A new baby relative
28. Seeing your partner for the first time in a while
29. Seeing yourself after a hair cut
30. A new book
31. Your favourite band performing live
32. Seeing children play with their friends
33. A takeaway
34. Your football team scoring a winning goal
35. A cold bottle of water after exercising
36. An unexpected cup of tea/coffee
37. A straight run of green traffic lights
38. A new car
39. The ice cream van on a hot day
40. A fully stocked supermarket shelf
41. The breakdown company arriving when you’ve broken down
42. A new outfit
43. An elderly relative
44. A full bubble bath
45. A squirrel
46. Dinner on the table as soon as you get home
47. A sale in your favourite shop
48. A relative getting married
49. Being brought breakfast in bed
50. An empty seat on public transport