Which of your five sense do you value the most? Given the choice would you give up your sense of smell, your sense of touch, your sight? If you’re like 82 percent of Americans, you fear losing your vision more than any other sense.
This fun fact comes from a recent survey conducted by Lighthouse International, a non-profit that combats vision loss; the same survey reveals that a shocking 86 percent of people at-risk for eye disease don’t get an annual eye exam.
“Sixty one million Americans are at-risk of significant vision loss. A comprehensive annual eye exam is the most important step to preserving vision,” said Mark Ackermann, Lighthouse International’s CEO.
The biggest reason people don’t schedule an eye exam is because they’re worried about the cost. So many Americans don’t have adequate healthcare, much less vision coverage that people avoid the eye doctor all together rather than face a dire diagnosis.
But another major reason people don’t visit their eye doctor regularly is because they don’t notice that anything is wrong with their vision. However, some eye conditions, such as glaucoma, have almost no symptoms but can cause serious damage.
An eye exam can also catch health problems that aren’t related to your vision. An optometrist or ophthalmologist can detect conditions as diverse as diabetes, brain tumors and multiple sclerosis just by examining a patient’s eye.
The bottom line is that 80 percent of vision loss is preventable. So look at your calendar; if you’re overdue a trip to the eye doctor, maybe it’s time to bite the bullet.