How Eye Disease Affects Vision

If undetected and untreated, eye diseases will permanently damage vision.


Common Eye Diseases

Here are examples of the impact on vision of three common eye diseases that impact Canadians.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy manifests as dark patches of vision loss. Vision loss increases as the disease progresses.

Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects central vision. In the early stages the disease is symptom free.


Glaucoma affects peripheral vision. In the early stages the disease can go unnoticed.

The Workplace Cost of Eye Disease

Millions of Canadians are at risk of developing a serious eye disease like diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), or glaucoma. Many of these individuals are in the workplace. If serious eye diseases go unnoticed until advanced stages, there will be a significant impact on the workplace. Early detection can prevent over 90% of vision loss in Canada, reducing the impact of eye disease, and avoiding costs for insurers and plan sponsors.

The Workplace Cost


Eye disease will have a major impact on a patient’s quality of life, particularly if not detected and treated at the early stages of disease.

Here are some examples: 

  • Early or mild diabetic retinopathy, AMD and glaucoma have a similar impact on quality of life to moderate angina or a moderate heart attack. 
  • Moderate stages of eye disease have a similar impact to breast cancer with chemotherapy, and kidney disease with a transplant. 
  • Advanced or severe stages of eye disease have a similar impact on quality of life to severe angina, a severe heart attack or a major stroke.
Eye exam

Treatment Pathways For Eye Disease

An estimated 8 million Canadians have an eye disease that can lead to vision loss, including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and glaucoma. These conditions often remain symptom-free until they reach an advanced stage, making treatment more complex and costly. Preventative care results in an earlier diagnosis, fewer interventions, and lower costs compared to catching a disease at an advanced stage.

Treatment Pathways

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