This post is sponsored by VSP. All opinions however are my own.
Open Enrollment Season Is Here
Summer has come to an end, and this means the school year is here and the holidays are fast-approaching. And this usually means there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that you need to do. So if you’re anything like me, making time for your own health falls low on the list of priorities. But today I’m here to tell you not do that! Particularly important is your eye health. Did you know that accessing vision insurance benefits could be just a simple as checking a box? Most employers offer and vision benefits as part of a total health insurance package. With fall approaching that means we are heading into the height of open enrollment season so benefits in general should be top of your mind. While most open enrollment periods are in late summer and through fall, if you experience a life change like marriage or childbirth, you may be eligible to change your benefit selections and even add dependents. Luckily I get reminders from my employer when open enrollment is beginning, but others might not be as fortunate and have to do their own homework.
Why is Eye Health So Important?
A recent survey conducted by VSP Vision Care and YouGov found that overwhelmingly vision is the most cherished sense (topping the list at 84% with hearing coming in second at 7%), but many people overlook their eye health even though an annual comprehensive exam can save a life! So how long has it been since your last eye exam, really? Don’t you think it’s about time to have one? With as dependent as we are on our vision to experience the world around us, maintaining our eye health could never be so important! It is so important not to take your vision for granted. I can tell you, as a physician who regularly treats people who are going blind it is absolutely devastating when you lose vision that you take for granted every day.
The Eye is the Window to the Rest of your Body
Are you one of the few that know what can be detected through an eye exam? In the same survey, only 4% recognized that an eye doctor can detect early signs of diabetes. That’s right – it is nothing short of amazing to me what a thorough eye exam can tell you about the rest of your body! I have personally found signs of diabetes, high cholesterol, brain tumors, and hypertension in people who would have never otherwise known that something was amiss. And there are are asymptomatic ocular diseases that can easily steal your vision. Cataracts occur in just about everybody over the age of 75. And glaucoma is the silence thief of vision that affects over 3 million people. A good comprehensive eye exam can reveal so many things about you!
Small Changes Can Have A Big Impact
Your eyesight definitely changes over time. Don’t believe it now? Just wait until you are in your 40s! Even small changes in your vision can cause symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, and eye fatigue. Because these changes happen so gradually, you adjust to them, making it appear as though nothing is wrong. For these reasons, it’s important to ensure you have the right prescription by getting an annual check-up.
Improvements In Your Lifestyle
Anyone who wears glasses on a regular basis, knows that they have their limitations. If you or your child plays sports glasses can definitely be a hindrance. Maybe contact lenses would be better for your lifestyle. If you schedule your annual exam you can see if contact lenses are the right choice for you. Contact lenses can open up a whole new world in terms of possibilities of freedom in terms of your lifestyle! I know personally that I cannot live without my contact lenses and this is why I make sure I get to my eye exam every year.
Feeling and Looking Your Best
Eyewear fashion is constantly changing and updating your glasses can be an easy way to give yourself a fresh look! Not to mention, if your prescription isn’t right or your glasses don’t fit right this can cause all sorts of problems and prevent you from feeling your best. And as I said before, contact lenses can open up a world of possibilities in terms of freedom to do the things you want to do.
Do it For your Children
So not only do you need an annual comprehensive eye exam but your kids can benefit from one too! Only an estimated 14% of children receive comprehensive eye exams before entering kindergarten or first grade1. In spite of the fact that 25% of children in the United States (12.1 million) have some sort of a vision problem2. Is your child having trouble in school? Studies have found that up to 60% of children with learning disabilities have an undiagnosed vision problems3. So that you don’t forget to do it, make it a priority to schedule your child’s eye exam before the start of school so they can be off to the right start!
So make sure to make it a priority to have your eye exam this season. And in most instances you can get it covered by your insurance, like VSP! So during this year’s open enrollment season make it a point to sign up for the vision benefits that can be so valuable.
I know I threw a lot at you so if you have more questions around open enrollment and vision care benefits is a great place to get more info. Poe GS. Eye Care Visits and Use of Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses. United States 1979 and 1980. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1984. Vital and Health Statistics Series 10, No. 145. DHHS publication 84-1573.
 Donahue SP, Johnson TM, Ottar W, Scott WE. Sensitivity of photoscreening to detect high-magnitude amblyogenic factors. J AAPOS. 2002;6:86-91.
 American Optometric Association
As always, thanks for stopping by!
xo | April