More than two years on from the start of the pandemic, hospital eye care services are still facing an almighty backlog as well as a growing demand for care.

With long waiting lists, many eye care professionals are concerned about a potential ‘glaucoma ticking time bomb’ resulting in avoidable sight loss for many people.

Routine eye tests are the best way to spot problems early. Treatment is effective and regular monitoring will identify patients at risk of sight loss. But with routine eye testing restricted during the pandemic and the backlog eye care services are struggling with (as well as new demands), there’s been an unmistakable impact on patients’ vision in Ireland.

We partnered with Fighting Blindness to highlight the scale of the challenge we now face with glaucoma, the importance of regular eye tests, and community providers and the entire eye care sector can work together to improve clinical outcomes and save sight.

Glaucoma at a glance

  • Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, yet many people don’t know they have it.6 As many as half of all cases are undiagnosed.7
  • Glaucoma accounts for more than 20% of outpatient appointments in hospital eye care.8
  • If glaucoma is in the family, close relatives can be up to ten times more likely to develop it.9
  • The demand for glaucoma services is expected to rise by 33% in the coming decade.10

If you’re experiencing any problems with your eyes or vision, you can book an appointment at your nearest store.

Just click on the button below, add your postcode, and we’ll find the closest store to you. If you have any serious concerns about your eye health, you’ll find the phone number of your local store there too – give them a call directly to explain the situation.

Read the full report

If you'd like to read the full report, you can download it here.

For an accessible version, please email

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1. Soh, Z. et al. (2021). The Global Extent of Undetected Glaucoma in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ophthalmology,128(10), 1393–1404. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.04.009

2. Schaneman, J. et al. (2010). The role of comprehensive eye exams in the early detection of diabetes and other chronic diseases in an employed population. Population health management,13(4), 195–199. pop.2009.0050

3. Chiquita, S. et al. (2019). The Retina as a Window or Mirror of the Brain Changes Detected in Alzheimer’s Disease: Critical Aspects to Unravel. Molecular neurobiology, 56(8), 5416–5435.

4. Villaplana Velasco A. (2022). Abstract C22.6: Decreased retinal vascular complexity is an early biomarker of myocardial infarction supported by a shared genetic control. Abstract presented at the Annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics, in Vienna, Austria.

5. Lundeen, E. A. et al. (2022). Self-Reported Vision Impairment and Psychological Distress in U.S. Adults. Ophthalmic epidemiology,29(2), 171–181. 18177

6. National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). (2020). Glaucoma patients most at risk of sight loss. alert/glaucoma-patients-most-at-risk-of-sightloss-were-identified-in-a-new-study/

7. Soh, Z. et al. (2021). The Global Extent of Undetected Glaucoma in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ophthalmology,128(10), 1393–1404. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.04.009

8. Irish College of Ophthalmologists. (2022). ICO News Summer. Delivering Integrated Care in Ireland Symposium NEWS_31_Sp22_web.pdf

9. Okeke C. (2016). Familial Glaucoma Risk: Spreading the Word. Review of Ophthalmology. July

10. Irish College of Ophthalmologists. (2021). Early Detection Key in Prevention of GlaucomaRelated Sight Loss. March. March-7-2021/Early-Detection-Key-inPrevention-of-Glaucoma-Related-Sight-Loss/92. html