Fight for Sight highlights eye research funding gap in public letter

The charity will conduct a research study into the economic and personal impact of sight loss this year

visually impaired person
Fight for Sight has highlighted a funding gap for eye research in a letter signed by 12 UK ophthalmologists and published in The Guardian (7 January).

The letter calls on the Government to develop a national plan on sight loss that ensures eye research receives more funding.

Fight for Sight shared that 1% of national research funding is currently invested in eye research, despite 20% of people in the UK experiencing serious sight loss or blindness in their lifetime.

The charity’s head of research, Dr Rubina Ahmed, said: “It’s shameful that in 2020 so little national research funding goes to eye research, especially when science offers so many possibilities to transform lives and there are breakthroughs happening every day.”

“We’ve seen the first gene therapies for eye diseases become available on the NHS and stem cell treatments are already restoring sight for patients at clinical trial. However, the amount of funding is currently not fit for the scale of the challenge, with hundreds of eye diseases and millions of people affected globally. Science and technology have the answers, the only barrier is the funding to make it happen,” Dr Ahmed added.

Fight for Sight will conduct a research study this year looking at the economic and personal impact of sight loss, highlighting mental health and the ability to work.

For the study, the charity will interview people living with sight loss and aims to publish the findings in July.

Image credit: Getty/Dafinchi