Majority Adults Have Eye Problems, But Few Seek Help, Survey Says

Photograph of a man getting and eye exam

Think about it: if you noticed your car wasn’t running well, you likely would schedule an appointment to have it checked out. Would you do the same for your eyes?

If you’re like most people, probably not, finds a Harris Poll commissioned by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

According to this survey, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. Yet most of them fail to have medical eye exams that could save their sight.

Survey findings showed that 64 percent of adults had at least one or more of these problems with their eyes or vision:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Problems reading up close
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Having red, watery eyes

Despite having these problems, only 13 percent of these people (about 1 out of 8) reported they had seen a medical doctor for an eye exam.

Ophthalmologists are committed to helping people maintain healthy eyes and vision as they age. With Healthy Aging Month happening during September, they are emphasizing the importance of having regular medical eye exams.

“Just like our hair goes gray, our hips weaken and our metabolism slows, our eyes are impacted by age,” explains Rebecca J. Taylor, MD, an ophthalmologist in Nashville, Tennessee. “Common age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, can begin to steal your vision before you even realize it.”

“Having regular dilated eye exams, usually starting around age 40, is important for catching these problems before vision loss happens,” says Dr. Taylor. “Many adults around age 40 begin taking steps to prevent their risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other issues. Having regular exams to prevent potentially blinding eye disease should also be part of this overall health maintenance plan.”

If you haven’t already, get your eye exam routine on track. Start by finding an ophthalmologist near you and schedule an appointment. From autos to eyes, routine maintenance is the best preventative medicine.

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Source: AAO