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Survey Assesses Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals with Vision Impairment

A recent study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology considered the implications of COVID-19 on eye care, general and mental health among groups of individuals with varying levels of visual impairment as well as caregivers. “Ophthalmologists lost more patient volume than any other specialty during the acute phase of COVID-19 in the United States, and possibly worldwide.” What does this mean for the health and well being of people who are blind or visually impaired? While conclusive evidence is not fully known, the study found that concern for developing COVID varied, and that “Overall, groups with greater proportions of irreversible blinding disease, including those with moderate and severe VI, as well as blindness, reported greater challenges associated with COVID-19 and its shutdown. These included difficulty in seeing the eye doctor …, lack of transport …, and financial burden…” In addition, delays in accessing care for treatable conditions, such as cataracts and retinal disease, have compounded the problem. Read more here.