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PEOPLE with sight loss are being asked if and how Covid-19 has affected them, after research found the virus disproportionately affected people with visual impairments during the first lockdown.

The Fight for Sight eye research charity has launched a survey after finding the first national lockdown that Covid was disproportionately affecting people with visual impairments.

Nearly three out of four said then that access to treatment had got worse since the beginning of the pandemic. Four in 10 people said they feared their eyesight had deteriorated, or would do so, as a result.

There are currently over two million people in the UK living with sight loss, more than half of which is avoidable.

According to Fight for Sight’s Time to Focus report, released in September, this number will jump to 3.5 million by 2050.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, eye research was already severely underfunded, with only 1.5% of national funding invested in eye research. That’s in spite of the fact that eye conditions account for 10% of all hospital outpatient appointments.

Sarah Campion, of Fight for Sight, said: “This is a challenging time for everyone, but we know from our research that the current pandemic and lockdown is having a particularly harsh effect on those living with eye conditions and sight loss.

“We need the input of those affected so that we can understand how lockdown restrictions are continuing to impact them and determine how best to campaign on their behalf.”

The findings of the survey will also help Fight for Sight make decisions on the future of the charity’s research priorities.

*Take the survey at – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BH6PT2R

or by visiting Fight for Sight’s website at https://www.fightforsight.org.uk.