by Todd Geatz, Proactive Risk Executive
A Common Problem
Statistics show that an estimated 16 million people in the United States have undiagnosed or uncorrected vision problems. This leads to issues that affect your everyday life, sometimes without out them even noticing:
- headaches that distract from, or result in missing work or other activities
- difficulty reading
- inability to properly see distances
These problems lead to distractions at work, misinterpretation of information and challenges with everyday tasks. According to the Vision Council of America, 75% of adults use some form of vision correction, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. Are you one of them?
What Can You Do
The first step to good eye health is a comprehensive eye exam. When speaking about eye exams, most people think about a routine eye exam that measures your vision, also known as a vision screening. However, a comprehensive eye exam is more in-depth. It uses multiple tests to inspect your vision and eye health. As a result, a comprehensive eye exam helps discover other potential health concerns, including:
- macular degeneration
- detached retina
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- rheumatoid arthritis
- certain types of cancer
With early detection, many eye diseases can be slowed or even stopped. However, untreated eye problems can quickly lead to blindness and other health concerns.
How Much Does It Cost
Let’s start with the retail costs of an exam versus the cost of an exam with insurance coverage. A comprehensive exam costs around $110 on average without insurance. Additionally, an individual with no vision insurance will spend nearly $360 on average for lenses and frames. This is on top of the cost of the eye exam. These costs add up quickly, especially for those with growing families.
There are many great vision insurance companies at our disposal and the value that they offer to the insured is quite remarkable! Most vision plans offer a low or no cost exam co-pay making a comprehensive exam a very affordable beginning to better eye health. Most vision plans also provide a frame allowance between $100-$300 and a single-vision lenses as low as a $10 copay.
Is Vision Insurance Affordable
To put these costs into perspective, and to further understand why vision insurance is such a great value, consider that individual premiums will range between $5 to $15 per month with families paying as little as $15 monthly. A very good plan may have a slightly higher premium.
Thus, when speaking of value, most vision plans more than pay for themselves on an annual basis by covering nearly the entire cost of the comprehensive exam alone. To learn more about coverage options and costs, talk to your Keller Stonebraker Proactive Risk Executive.
What Else Can I Do
After you have addressed your vision and health issues with an eye care specialist, there are also ways that you can promote vision health on your own. One of these ways is to simply increase your consumed amount of Vitamin D …
We all know that vitamin D is an essential vitamin for strong bones. What many of us are probably unaware of is that vitamin D is also very important for healthy eyes! Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties that are very helpful with certain eye-related conditions. Proper levels of Vitamin D play a strong role in positively affecting inflammation, blood pressure and glucose tolerance, and Dry Eye syndrome.
While one way to add vitamin D to our bodies is through sun exposure, we can also get Vitamin D through our diets. There are many foods that have generous amounts in them, including: salmon, herring, sardines and canned tuna—all very rich in Vitamin D. Other good sources are: egg yolks, mushrooms, milk, soy milk, and almond milk.
There are of course many other things that can be done to maintain great eye health along with well-balanced diets and over exposure to the ultra violet rays. The eyes are no different than other parts of the human body that require proper diet and regular well visits to stay healthy for many years to come.