- Over 8 million Canadians are living with blinding eye diseases and 1.2 million Canadians are living with vision loss
- Vision loss in Canada has an annual cost of $32.9 billion
- 3 out of 4 cases of vision loss could be prevented if caught early or treated
- New treatments to prevent vision loss and restore sight are needed for many Canadians who don’t currently have any option
On this page, you will find information about our work to bring new treatments and cures to Canadians, and opportunities to support our efforts.
CALLING FOR A NATIONAL EYE CARE STRATEGY
For years, Fighting Blindness Canada in partnership with the Canadian Council of the Blind, CNIB, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada, Diabetes Canada, Canadian Association of Optometrists and Canadian Ophthalmological Society have advocated for a National Eye Care Strategy to:
- Raise awareness of the impact of vision loss and blindness in Canada
- Improve eye health care and support
- Increase funding for innovative research to advance new therapies
In 2022, a private members bill was introduced in the House of Commons calling for the establishment of a National Eye Care Strategy. Let’s keep the momentum going!
We are asking our community to send an email to your Members of Parliament urging them to adopt this bill and establish a National Eye Care Strategy.
- Fighting Blindness Canada has submitted pre-budget recommendations to the House of Commons. Access the submission.
- Vision loss is a national crisis and Canadians need federal support. Explore our federal role infographic.
- Investing in vision research will help save the sight of millions of Canadians, creating an opportunity to reduce healthcare spending. Learn more through our vision research flyer.
Stop the crisis of preventable blindness
Canada has a vision health care crisis and we have to act now. This is the finding of a series of reports published in 2021 and 2022. Here are some of the major findings from the reports:
- Over 8 million Canadians are living with an eye disease that puts them at risk of blindness and 1.2 million Canadians are living with vision loss.
- If diagnosed and treated early, 3 out of 4 cases of vision loss could be prevented.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation. Cancelled appointments, treatments and surgeries has led to an estimated 1437 Canadians losing vision in 2020.
- In 2021, eye care treatments and surgeries are starting to recover but have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.
- Staffing and resource shortages continue to hinder eye case access.
We’re calling on Canadians to join us in the fight against this emerging crisis of preventable blindness. Give your voice to the cause by visiting StopVisionLoss.ca.
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Hearing from people with vision loss, their families, and the broader community helps Fighting Blindness Canada better engage with and advocate for the issues that are important to you.
LEARN ABOUT FBC Policy work and Publications
- An inherited retinal disease (IRD) has significant impacts on the well-being, mental health, as well as finances of individuals and their families. However, there is a lack of data in this area, which can be a barrier to the development of treatments and delivery of appropriate clinical care. To address this Fighting Blindness Canada has undertaken research to uncover the often-hidden costs of living with an IRD.
- Understanding cost: IRD Counts (2020) is a study commissioned by FBC that quantified the prevalence of IRDs in Canada and estimated the annual cost of IRDs at $1.6 billion dollars.
- Understanding quality of life: This study, based on survey data from 408 community members was published in the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology (2022).
- Gaps in knowledge of diabetic macular edema (DME): This article published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes demonstrates a lack of awareness among patients about their diabetic eye disease and highlights the importance of education and health information.
- RAPID Program Fact Sheet: This fact sheet provides an overview of anti-VEGF treatment use in Canada with particular focus on the Alberta’s government-run RAPID program. November 9, 2020.
- Vision 2020 White Papers: Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC), the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), CNIB Foundation, and other stakeholders collaborated to draft three papers that discuss living with vision loss, vision research, and access to vision care.
FBC provides patient input to government agencies like the Canadian Association for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) to ensure they consider the vision loss community’s lived experience as they are making decisions about regulations, budgets or providing recommendations about which treatments should be approved and funded. FBC actively seeks community input through surveys and interviews to ensure that the experiences of people with vision loss are represented through these processes.
Inherited Retinal Diseases (IRDs) Submissions
- Voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna®), submitted to CADTH May 2020
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Submissions
Diabetes Macular Edema Submissions
- Faricimab, submitted to CADTH April 2022
- Ozurdex (Dexamethasone Intravitreal Implant), submitted to CADTH June 2022
- Brolucizumab (Beovu®), submitted to CADTH June 2022
- Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery submitted to CADTH September 2018
Join the Fight!
Learn how your support is helping to bring a future without blindness into focus! Be the first to learn about the latest breakthroughs in vision research and events in your community by subscribing to our e-newsletter that lands in inboxes the beginning of each month.