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Eye On The Prize: Don’t Lose Sight Of Proper Eye Health

January 15, 2013

While many value strong eyesight, very few maintain healthy eye practices.

It is no secret how important our eyesight is to our overall health and daily functions. In a recent study, people from all around the world said that would give up pretty much anything―lose their sense of taste, give up half their pay, lose their hearing, lose a limb―rather than lose their vision. In fact, 70% of people confessed that they would rather give up 10 years of their lives than lose their eyesight!

For a sense that is so important to our actions and our very being, you think that it would be an obvious choice to take as good of care as possible to maintain healthy eyesight. And a strong majority of people believe that they are either somewhat or very eye-savvy. However, a recently completed global survey called the “Barometer of Global Eye Health” revealed that the public may not be quite as knowledgeable as they previously thought about eye care issues and proper eye health.

The survey, conducted by Bausch + Lomb, in partnership with KRC Research, was validated by 147 eye health professionals from 26 different countries and examined the public’s awareness of proper eye healthcare and important eye health issues. 97% of the leading global eye health experts believed that the public was not sufficiently knowledgeable about eye health issues, and this survey proved them correct.

Here are just a few highlights from this first-of-its-kind public opinion poll on attitudes and behaviors related to eye health:

Lack of Understanding

Many respondents from the survey, which included participants in over 10 different counties, were highly unclear about the need for regular eye exams. No counties that were surveyed had over 50% of respondents report that they have had a comprehensive eye examination within the past 12 months. For those who did not have regular eye exams, many stated that the reason was because they “did not have any symptoms” or because they “could see just fine.”

What these participants and people all over the world may not realize is that eye examinations are not only important for treating current vision problems, but also for early detection of eye disorders and screening for diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.

Mislead About Vision Myths

One concern that many eye health professions shared was the fact that many participants are quick to believe common vision health myths, such as “I don’t need an eye test because there is no problem” or “if it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t a serious issue.” As many as 39% of participants also believed the only reason to visit an eye doctor was for vision correction purposes.

This type of thinking can be very dangerous due to the silent nature of many serious eye diseases. Seeing an eye doctor on a regular basis, even if you have perfect 20/20, can help to identify many serious eye and health disorders that may first manifest as changes in the eye. For instance, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, increased stroke risk and hypertension all can show first signs through your vision.

To learn more about the importance of proper eye health, set up a comprehensive vision screening test today with your eye doctor. They can educate you about importance of common lifestyle and behavior factors that may contribute to poor eye health, as well as screen you for dangerous eye diseases. If you are in the greater New Jersey area, contact OCLI today to ensure that your eyes are in good health.


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