According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 133 million Americans suffer from at least one chronic condition. That is 1 out of every 2 people. Almost 26 million people have diabetes, 71 million have high LDL cholesterol and 67 million people have high blood pressure.
Many Americans also suffer from chronic eye disease. Over 24 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts, and over 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma. Unfortunately, eye diseases can go undiagnosed for years and some individuals experience permanent vision loss. This is largely a result of not scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams. Regular, comprehensive eye exams help with early diagnosis and timely treatment to prevent vision loss.
Eye doctors play a critical role in identifying and managing chronic conditions, and re-engaging them into care. When eye care professionals share information about diseases with patients, better decisions can be made which results in better health outcomes.
Employers are gradually realizing the connection between eye health and overall health. This recognition is causing many corporations and companies to integrate vision benefits into their medical benefits program. Some health care plans take special care with patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, vascular disease and high cholesterol and give them a phone call with eye exam reminders. Eye care professionals are also encouraged to code medical claims with chronic condition categories, which allows disease management programs to follow up with the patients on a regular basis (Source: Business Wire).
If the eyes are a window into your health, shouldn’t you take the time to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam? Many chronic eye conditions can cause permanent vision loss if they go undiagnosed. Help preserve your vision by making an appointment with your eye care professional. You can also click here to locate a physician near you. At your appointment, talk to your eye doctor about more steps that you can take to keep your vision clear.