Does the Size of Your Wallet Impact Your Vision?
According to a recent study, the size of your wallet can have a big impact on your eyes. Income and education seem to show a direct connection the quality of eye care a person receives. Regular eye care can help prevent many common causes of blindness and regular treatment can lead to better vision. This study points to the need for quality eye care for all people. Rich or poor, protect your eyes and ensure that your vision lasts as long as you do.
Income and Eye Care
Income seems to have a direct link to the number of people that visit an eye care doctor in a given year. This study examined survey data from two different years (2002 and 2008). There were 7,000 respondents, all over 40 and with reported age related eye problems. The study found that during both study years those with higher incomes saw the eye doctor more often than those with lower income.
Those with lower income levels visited the eye doctor significantly less than those with higher income levels. Of the lower income respondents 63% reported a visit to the eye doctor during the past year compared with 81% of those with higher income levels. The results were similar for dilated eye exams with 80% of higher income respondents reporting a dilated eye exam while 65% of lower income respondents had a dilated exam.
These numbers are distressing to industry experts. There are many eye care options and treatments available (including those that can slow or reverse diseases like cataracts, age related macular degeneration and glaucoma). While these diseases can be treated, treatment is only available by visiting an eye doctor. Neglecting eye care can have serious consequences including vision loss and blindness.
Education and Eye Care
While the study found a link between income and eye care, similar results were found in relation to education levels. Those with less than a high school education were less likely to see an eye doctor than those with a college education.
What Can You Do?
This study provides valuable information to government agencies, eye care providers, and others looking to help spread good eye health across the nation and world. Hopefully it will inspire changes to outreach and educational efforts, helping to lessen the gap and get more people the eye care they need.
From a personal standpoint, this study reaffirms the importance of regularly visiting your eye doctor. When was the last time you went in for a visit? An annual visit is recommended for all people, even those with no known eye disease or problems. Those with eye diseases should be especially vigilant about getting the right eye care. If you have not been to the eye doctor lately, schedule an appointment today; your vision will thank you.
Eye exams are important for both children and adults. Adults will benefit from regular updates to the eye prescriptions and early detection of any eye diseases. Children can benefit from regular eye exams by being better able to see at school; many children do not realize when they may be having vision problems. Child or adult, regular eye care is essential.
Blindness is very preventable and it is estimated that 75% of the world’s blindness could be prevented with regular eye care. More than 50 million adults are at risk for vision loss due to eye disease. Visit the doctor and ensure that you give your vision the help it needs.
Eye Exams Aren’t Just for the Eyes
Many people believe that eye exams only provide benefit to the eyes, but in actuality, regular exams can also have positive benefits on the rest of your body. During an eye exam doctors can see blood vessels very closely (the eye is the only part of the body where this is possible). This can help doctors find early signs of diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and even some signs of cancer. You might think you are only visiting the eye doctor, but the information obtained at this visit may lead to better overall health.
Income and eye care are linked, with higher income levels receiving higher levels of eye care. What will you do to ensure that your family gets the eye care you need? When was the last time you visited the eye doctor?
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