Ontario Patients Experiencing Worsening Eyesight Due to Lack of Access to Care During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had dire consequences for Ontario patients living with eye diseases leading to an inability to access care, according to the latest polling released by IPSOS and commissioned by AbbVie Inc.

The survey of 75 ophthalmologists practicing in Ontario reported that 95% of respondents agree that access to procedures and care has been impacted by COVID-19, leading to 84% of ophthalmologists reporting seeing patients experiencing deteriorating eyesight.

80% of the ophthalmologists report postponed surgeries and 55% report postponed eye injections for retinal conditions such as diabetic macular edema. In addition, 76% of the surveyed ophthalmologists report seeing fewer patients due to COVID-19, 73% are seeing wait times increase by a few weeks or even months, and 83% report seeing a drastic decrease in monitoring of patients’ vision health.

“May is Vision Health Month. With Wave III causing elective surgical procedures to be cancelled again in Ontario, COVID-19 continues to disrupt the landscape of eye care in Ontario. It’s integral for patients living with conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) to have access to treatment options that will provide them with the best vision health outcomes and reduce the number of times they have to go in to see their doctor in this difficult time.” said Doug Earle, President and CEO of Fighting Blindness Canada.

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