Helping Patients Connect Eye Exams to Health

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO September 21, 2012

I was just looking out my kitchen window: a giant fir tree, a busy squirrel, a thirsty hummingbird, and all the beautiful colors of an autumn in Oregon. The gift of sight, it should never be taken for granted.

Bausch + Lomb just published its Barometer of Global Eye Health Survey to gauge current eye health perceptions and habits. Not surprisingly, vision was found to be the most important sense and people would give up just about everything to preserve their sight. Though many respondents considered themselves to be knowledgeable about eye health issues, clearly their actions suggest otherwise. It is clear that more work needs to be done in the area of consumer education regarding eye health.

We doctors certainly understand the value of eye care and its importance in the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The VSP Eye Health Index ranks the top 10 eye healthy cities as ranked by frequency of eye exams. This year, Providence, Rhode Island, led the index. A worthy goal would be to sharpen our focus on education regarding eye health issues with the goal of prompting people to take action and seek eye exams.

Knowledge is king and we need data to provide the evidence needed to increase understanding of eye health issues. We can all make a difference by submitting Eye Health Management® data—helping VSP communicate the importance of eye care.

As I see it, people need to understand the importance of taking care of their eyes. An informed patient is far more likely to take action. Eye Health Management data strengthens VSP’s ability to highlight this important message.

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