Negative impact of COVID-19 lockdown on papilloedema and idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Introduction

The neurological complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection are increasingly being recognised, as is the impact of enforced lockdown on both acute admissions and those with pre-existing neurological conditions. Papilloedema is a medical emergency requiring correct identification, timely investigations and a multidisciplinary approach.1 During the first National lockdown, access to optometric and hospital services, in the UK, was limited to absolute emergencies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of lockdown on those presenting with new onset papilloedema and those with existing idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) at a neuroscience centre in the UK.

Methods

A 10-week prospective evaluation (15 May 2020 to 30 July 2020) of emergency papilloedema and IIH clinics. Patients seen were referred urgently with new papilloedema or potential exacerbation of existing IIH. IIH follow-up appointments, cancelled due to enforced national lockdown and deployment of staff to frontline services, were also seen. Data collected included…

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