More than two years on from the start of the pandemic, NHS 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 ‘tidal wave’ of avoidable sight loss, particularly due to glaucoma.

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 in the community restricted during the pandemic and the struggle NHS eye care services have to cope with the backlog and new demands, there’s been an unmistakable impact on patients’ vision all across the UK.

We commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to find the alternative care models carried out in the UK to help inform how treating and detecting glaucoma could be improved. This report highlights examples of integrated care pathways that are delivering high-quality glaucoma care.

The pandemic accelerated a period of great innovation in the eye care sector to help as much as possible (like introducing virtual clinics, tools to help prioritise high-risk patients and using community-based professionals, like high street opticians, to monitor lower-risk patients), but more needs to be done to improve pathways to care for glaucoma patients in the UK.

Glaucoma at a glance

  • Glaucoma accounts for more than 20% of outpatient appointments in hospital eye care5
  • More than 2 million people are at risk of vision loss due to glaucoma6
  • The Royal College of Ophthalmologists anticipates a 44% increase in demand for glaucoma services by 20357
  • If glaucoma is in the family, close relatives can be up to ten times more likely to develop it8

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

Just click on the button below and add your postcode and we’ll find your nearest store. If you have any serious concerns about your eye health you can find the phone number of your local store and call them 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. 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. https://doi. org/10.1089/pop.2009.0050

2. 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.

3. 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.

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

5. Royal College of Ophthalmologists. (2017). The Way Forward. wp-content/uploads/2021/12/RCOphth-The-WayForward-Glaucoma-300117.pdf

6. NEHEM. (2013). National Eye Health Epidemiological Model. Data and models by Public Health Action Support Team, published by Local Optical Committee Support Unit. Prevalences applied to subnational population projections.

7. Royal College of Ophthalmologists. (2017). The Way Forward. wp-content/uploads/2021/12/RCOphth-The-WayForward-Glaucoma-300117.pdf

8. Okeke C. (2016). Familial Glaucoma Risk: Spreading the Word. Review of Ophthalmology, July. https://www.reviewofophthalmol... article/familial-glaucoma-risk-spreading-theword