Surprising Eye Health Stats

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Do you remember when you had your last eye exam? If you can’t, know you’re not alone. According to a recent study conducted by VSP Vision Care and market research agency YouGov, most people rate vision as their most important sense but only half reported getting an eye exam in the last year.

So why are people in the U.S. skipping annual eye exams? Many think that they don’t need to see an eye doctor if they have good eyesight or don’t feel their vision has changed enough to need a new prescription. What many may not realize is that eye health is connected to overall health and wellness.

Comprehensive eye exams typically take an hour or less, and in that brief time, allow eye doctors to detect signs of serious health conditions such as thyroid disease, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, and certain types of cancers.

Find more eye-opening perceptions about eye health from the study below.

By the numbers: The importance of eye exams 

  • 8 in 10 people (84 percent) rate vision as the most important sense, and nearly everyone (97 percent) agrees that having healthy eyes is important, but only half of people get annual eye exams.
  • Virtually no one (1 percent) knows that signs of serious diseases and conditions like high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, thyroid diseases, and certain types of cancers can be detected through an eye exam.
  • 6 in 10 (61 percent) people worry about diabetes impacting their family’s health, but only 4 percent know that eye doctors can detect signs of diabetes through an eye exam.
  • More than two-thirds of parents worry about their children’s eye health more than their own, but only 12 percent of parents know children should receive their first eye exam at six months old.
  • After learning about the importance of annual eye exams, 9 in 10 (90 percent) survey respondents agree on the importance of annual eye exams.

Schedule your annual eye exam

Are you ready to make your eye health a priority? Find a VSP network doctor near you at


  • cindy says:

    I would like to see articles tell about what foods are good for eye health, and exercise, and sunglasses, and proper rest for the body, health, etc. Preventive and maintain health.

  • Caroline says:

    I agree with above comment. Nutrition tips for eye health would be appreciated.

  • Elaine says:

    If my eye dr refers me to a specialist.,fo I use VS regular medical coverage

    • Angelina F. says:

      Most VSP vision plans provide a WellVision Exam. During a WellVision Exam, the VSP doctor will look for vision problems as well as signs of other health conditions. If they find that you may need treatment or surgery for a medical condition, and refer you to a specialist, then you would want to check with your medical plan to see if this would be a covered service provided under your health coverage.

      If you would like to see what your vision plan covers you can login on or reach out to Customer Care:

      Angelina F., VSP

  • H.W. says:

    If I go to an eye doctor for an exam will they make me put chemicals in my eyes? As an adult I have perfect vision and have never had an eye exam. I’m (superstitiously and illogically) worried that if I go, they will put chemicals in my eyes and my vision will deteriorate as a result.

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi H.W.,
      Typically the eye doctor will put in drops to temporarily dilate your pupils to get a better look of the health of your eyes, however some practices may offer retinal imaging instead which still allows them to get a closer look at the health of your eye through the use of high-resolution imaging systems. You can learn more about that process here: Keep in mind not all practices offer retinal screenings, so if that is of interest to you it would be best to call ahead first and there may be an additional cost.
      -Angelina F., VSP

  • Charles Van Der Linde says:

    VSP should be fighting the monopoly and get the cost of glasses down.There is no reason a pair of glasses are so expensive.

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