Jun 18, 2021

COVID-19 impacts Canadians Getting Diagnosed for Blinding Eye Diseases

More than 1 in 4 Canadians’ lives are impacted by vision loss and blindness, yet a recent Ipsos public opinion survey conducted on behalf of Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC) shows more Canadians are delaying regular eye exams now than before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The number of individuals who have had their eyes checked over the past year has dropped to 35 per cent, down from 42 per cent in 2019. Most notably, even though the 55+ age group is most likely to have had their eyes checked over the past year, there was a nine-point decrease from two years ago. In addition, 13 per cent hadn’t had an eye exam in the past 2-3 years compared to 9 per cent in 2019, and 20 per cent had gone 3 years or more without visiting the optometrist, up from 18 per cent two years earlier.*

Regular eye exams are critical for identifying eye health challenges that could lead to blindness. For 3 out of 4 individuals with vision loss, research has delivered treatments that can stabilize their sight and prevent further vision loss and blindness. However, a combination of COVID-19 straining Canada’s public health system and recommendations to stay home as much as possible have resulted in Canadians delaying their regular eye check-ups.

Today, with safe public health measures are in place, we encourage Canadians to prioritize their vision and schedule an eye exam that may have been delayed due to the pandemic. A simple eye exam can help ensure any vision issues are caught early, increasing the likelihood that they can be treated, and vision loss prevented.

*This Ipsos survey conducted on behalf of Fighting Blindness Canada used a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 years and over. They were interviewed through the Ipsos i-Say Panel from June 9-14, 2021. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Canadians been polled.

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