When was the last time you went in for an eye exam? Do you get your eyes checked every annually, every two years, or has it been a few years? Given that August of National Eye Exam month, we set out to get a better understanding of eye health issues in the United States compared to how often people get their eyes checked.
Starting from the top, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 12 million people at least 40 years old have some kind of vision impairment. About 6.8% of children 18 years or younger have some kind of eye or vision-related condition. Around 2,000 workers incur work-related eye injuries, and 93 million adults in the United States have a high risk of vision loss. As a matter of fact, vision disability is considered among the 10 top disabilities that affect children and adults in the United States, yet (drum-roll please) only half of the population is reported to have gone in for an annual eye exam.
A study conducted by vision care revealed that most people consider their eyesight to be their most important sense and that maintaining eye health is critical. Yet, again, only half of the population goes in to get their eyes checked annually.
While our eyesight is critical to our quality of life, we may neglect to realize how interconnected it is with many aspects of our lives. Additionally, with climate change, technological innovation, and human evolution in general, going in for an annual eye exam is essential, even if you have 20-20 vision. Here are some things to consider that make getting an annual eye exam so important.
- Early Detection: Our eye and vision health allow us to detect other things going on with our bodies. There are a number of medical conditions that affect our eye health, including diabetes, high blood pressure, Lyme disease, and anemia. Ensuring that we are checking the boxes on both ends (eye and physical health) helps us to be more proactive in maintaining our wellness.
- Prevention: As our bodies change over time, so does our vision. Additionally, based on our lifestyles, spending long hours using electronics, sitting out in the sun, using chemical-based products, or other daily practices, our eye and vision health is bound to also be impacted. An annual eye exam allows an optometrist or ophthalmologist to detect any early signs of macular degeneration, cataracts, or other eye diseases and offer proactive approaches to preventing serious issues down the line.
- Ultimate Wellness: As previously mentioned, our eyes are a key part of maintaining our quality of life. Ensuring that you have an updated prescription adds value to your work performance and day-to-day life. Our eyes are critical in the workplace, while we’re on the road, or even having to read things up close/at a distance.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, June 9). Fast facts of common eye disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/fastfacts.htm
Vision Service Plan. (2022). VSP Vision Care: Vision insurance. VSP Vision Care | Vision Insurance. Retrieved from https://www.vsp.com/eyewear-wellness/eye-health/eye-health-survey-results