Since the beginning of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there have been obstacles in the proper diagnosis and management of many diseases. We evaluated the changes in retinal detachment (RD) presentation and surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic and propose solutions to minimize the detrimental effects of lockdown on RD diagnosis.
Materials and methods
PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched for relevant articles with the keywords “Retinal detachment” AND “Coronavirus OR COVID-19 OR SARS OR MERS.”
The COVID-19 lockdown was associated a 53–66% reduction in RD presentation. The decrease in the rate of macula-on RD, the increase in the mean duration of symptoms, and the rise in the number of patients with proliferative vitreoretinopathy were all suggestive of a delayed presentation of RD. Moreover, a drop of 56–62% in RD repair surgeries was observed. However, the most frequently performed ophthalmic surgery changed from cataract surgery in April 2019 to RD repair in April 2020. Using phacovitrectomy instead of vitrectomy alone can reduce the number of operations in ophthalmology centers, decrease the use of personal protective equipment by 50%, and cut costs per patient by 17–20%. Also, developing a well-organized telemedicine system can decrease unnecessary visits and delayed presentations.
Delay in RD presentation and surgery is associated with a poorer prognosis. Optimizing the guidelines of RD management and developing a well-organized telemedicine system can minimize the impact of lockdown on RD management.