In a recent survey by The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), 81% of more than 3,500 U.S. adults said they’re knowledgeable about vision health.
However, only 19% knew the three main causes of blindness in the United States (glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease), less than half were aware that vision loss and blindness don’t affect all people equally, and 37% knew that disease-related vision loss don’t always have symptoms.
“Far too often, we witness the consequences of patients entering the ophthalmologist’s office too late to avoid severe vision loss,” says AAO president Dr. Anne Coleman.
Because the brain adapts to vision loss, you may not even notice. The AAO recommends visiting an ophthalmologist for a baseline eye exam by age 40 and having your eyes checked 1-2 years after you turn 65. This is where a low-cost vision plan from your association and AMBA comes in, helping you save hundreds on everything from exams to eyewear. Learn more online or call 866-979-0497.
Research shows that people fear vision loss more than they fear other serious health problems, such as cancer, stroke and heart disease. However, the old saying, What I don’t know can’t hurt me couldn’t be farther from the truth. When it comes to eye health, ignorance is not bliss.
“In 2020, we want all Americans to have clear vision when it comes to eye health,” says Coleman. “That starts with educating yourself about eye diseases and visiting an ophthalmologist.”