Fight for Sight highlights the long-term impact of cancelling cataract operations

15 April 20

written by:

Róisín Treacy

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A surgeon looking through the microscope at a patient.

Fight for Sight is raising awareness of the long-term impact of cancelling cataract operations, as all elective surgeries are postponed from today.

In a statement to the Independent, the charity outlined its concern about the impact cancelling these procedures will have on those living with cataracts.

Hospitals in England have postponed millions of non-urgent operations for a period of at least three months as the NHS manages the current pandemic of Covid-19. 

Cataract procedures are the most common operation in the NHS and around 400,000 a year are carried out in the UK.

Chief Executive of Fight for Sight, Sherine Krause said: "These are clearly unprecedented times, with the NHS facing tough decisions and the need to focus on tackling the pandemic. However, we know what a massive impact cataracts can have on people's lives - hugely impeding independence, livelihoods and mental health. We would urge that any decisions to stop these operations are not taken lightly and with a view on the impact on those involved."

Cataracts cause blurred or hazy vision and gradually get worse over time. Although it is not painful, it can cause blindness if left untreated and it cannot be slowed down or prevented with medicine or eye drops.

If you are in need of support at this challenging time or would like to share your experiences or concerns around managing an eye condition during the pandemic please contact

Read our expert blog on important eye care during the Covid-19 pandemic Read our information and advice for people with eye conditions surrounding Covid-19