Half of the people in the U.S. neglecting their eyes even though eight out of 10 individuals rate vision as their most important sense, according to a survey of 1,004 adults past age 1 conducted by VSP Vision Care and YouGov.
This disconnect occurs because people don’t understand the importance of annual eye exams and its connection to overall health, the survey found. In fact, only 1% of individuals surveyed know that signs of serious conditions such as thyroid disease, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders and certain types of cancer can be detected through annual eye exams.
“Eye exams are especially important for the more than 100 million U.S. adults now living with diabetes or prediabetes,” said Mary Anne Murphy, OD, a board member at VSP Global. The survey found that six in 10 people in the U.S. worry about the impact diabetes might have on their family’s health, but only 4% know that signs of diabetes can be detected through an eye exam.
Meanwhile, eight in 10 parents agree that a regular eye exam helps children with school performance, but nearly half wait until their child complains about their vision to schedule an eye exam
“In my practice, I see this happen often because parents don’t realize that their child might not know what seeing clearly looks like,” said Dr. Murphy. “Luckily, the majority of vision problems that interfere with reading and learning are very treatable once detected. However, putting off vision exams can do irreversible damage.”
The survey also found that twice as many parents worry about their children’s dental problems than their vision issues, even though most children lose their baby teeth by age 12 or 13. Overall, only 12% of parents know children should receive their first eye exam at age 6 months.
Some additional findings: After learning about the importance of annual eye exams, 9 in 10 survey respondents agree on the importance of annual eye exams. Also, six in 10 individuals are more likely to get an eye exam this year after being educated on its importance, and nearly seven in 10 are now more likely to urge loved ones to get an eye exam this year. Go to VSP.com. For videos, infographics and more on this study, click here: www.multivu.com/players/English/8363551-vsp-vision-care/.
Survey Methodology: A nationally representative sample of 1,004 adults over the age of 18 was collected. Weights were applied to ensure representativeness. Surveys were conducted July 2–10, 2018, and average interview length was 15 minutes. This survey was conducted via an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc panel of 2 million individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys.