- 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’ll find information about our work to bring new treatments and cures to Canadians, and opportunities to support our efforts.
Stop the crisis of preventable blindness
Canada has a vision health care crisis and we have to act now. This is the finding of two reports, The Cost of Vision Loss & Blindness in Canada Report and The Impact of COVID-19 Report on Eye Health (Addendum) published in 2021.
Over 8 million Canadians are living with blinding eye diseases and 1.2 million Canadians are living with vision loss. But this can be prevented. If diagnosed early 3 out of 4 people could stabilize their sight with treatments available today.
Every day, people are losing their sight from preventable blindness. The financial burden to our health care system, individuals, and communities is in the billions with the majority of the costs being borne by individuals and their families.
This has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cancelled eye care appointments, treatments and surgeries has led to an estimated 1437 Canadians losing vision in 2020. The delays will mean an increase in the cost of vision loss of $1.3 billion over the next two years.
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.
Together with a coalition representing people living with vision loss and professional eye care providers, we’re calling for a National Vision Health Plan that will focus on the prevention of blindness and investment in better eye care and vision research to restore sight for the 1.2 million Canadians living with uncorrectable vision loss today.
The Canadian Council of the Blind, in partnership with Fighting Blindness Canada, the Canadian Association of Optometrists, and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to prepare the Cost of Vision Loss and Blindness in Canada report based on 2019 health data and the COVID-19 addendum based on March to December 2020 health data.
IRD COUNTS: THE IMPACT OF LIVING WITH AN INHERITED RETINAL DISEASE (IRD)
Every year, the cost of IRDs in Canada is $1.6 billion, a cost largely borne by affected individuals and their families.
Individuals with an IRD, their families, and health care providers understand the impact on well-being, mental health, as well as the financial cost of living with an IRD. However, the lack of data in this area has been a barrier to the development of treatments, implementation of clinical trials, and delivery of appropriate clinical care. To address this Fighting Blindness Canada helped commission the IRD COUNTS study which brings to light the hidden costs of having an IRD and makes clear that the true impact is not being considered fully by the government as they make decisions about health care spending.
Share your vision story
Living with a blinding eye disease can feel isolating. Hearing others’ vision loss experiences can help provide hope. That’s why FBC is asking you to share your vision story with our community.
Your vision story can be shared in a variety of ways:
- On the FBC website
- At an FBC event
- In a peer-to-peer meeting opportunity
- Through the FBC Ambassador Program
Sharing your experience of living with vision loss can help to underscore the importance of vision research – and provide hope to those at different points in their vision loss journey.
LEARN ABOUT FBC Policy work and Publications
Vision 2020 White papers
The year 2020 is symbolic for those living with vision loss, and is a reminder that more needs to be done to address the complex issues that affect this growing community. Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC), the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB), CNIB Foundation, and other stakeholders have collaborated to draft three papers that discuss living with vision loss, vision research, and access to vision care.
Regulatory Submission Highlights
FBC provides patient input to government agencies to ensure that they are considering 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.
- Inherited Retinal Diseases (IRDs) Submission | Treatment: voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna®) | Agency: Canadian Association for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) | Submitted May 21, 2020
- Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Submission | Treatment: brolucizumab (Beovu®) | Agency: Canadian Association for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) | Submitted October 18, 2019
- Glaucoma Submission | Treatment: minimally invasive glaucoma surgery | Agency: Canadian Association for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) | Submitted September 21, 2018
- 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.
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.