Feb. 19, 2020
Most Americans will receive an eye exam in the next two years, if not sooner. But just 13 percent say they go to their eye doctor for both routine eyecare, such as glasses, and addressing potential symptoms of chronic conditions, despite the fact than an eye exam can non-invasively screen for upwards of 30 different chronic conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, according to the Vision Wellness Study from Versant Health. The results of the study were summarized on Business Wire last week.
Yet, nearly all (84 percent) say that if they were aware of the connection between eyecare and early disease detection, they’d be more likely to make an eye doctor appointment—pointing to a gap in understanding about the benefits of eye exams and the connection between vision wellness and holistic health.
Older Americans—those over the age of 60—more often recognize the importance of eye exams and vision care for their overall health and wellness. For instance, 81 percent of them say they place a high value on eye doctors’ abilities to identify serious, non-eye diseases, as compared to 65 percent of people under 40.
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On the flip side, just 23 percent say a child under the age of 18 in their household has received care from an eye doctor, compared to 80 percent of adults—indicating that the value of healthy vision for children is not clear.
Cost is the top health-care concern for Americans, with 61 percent of people indicating identifying ways to decrease overall health-care costs is a very important care topic.
However, false perceptions about the affordability of both receiving care and purchasing insurance are stopping people from getting routine care as often as they should. More than one-third (39 percent) of people reveal that cost is a reason why household members do not visit an eye doctor as often as they would like.
Other notable findings of the survey include:
- Less than 40 percent of people have a high-level of confidence in eye doctors’ abilities to identify health conditions such as diabetes, early stage hypertension, Graves’ disease, high cholesterol and other chronic illnesses.
- Many people (32 percent) report having no vision care insurance at all to cover the costs of eyecare.
- Just half (54 percent) of people with children under 18 years old in their household say those children have seen an eye doctor in the past two years, compared to 85 percent of people over 60.
- Women are more likely (31 percent) than men (22 percent) to experience cost and insurance barriers to eyecare.