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May 21, 2014

When is the last time you had an eye exam? I just read a report from Essilor, the world’s leading provider of eyeglass lenses, that said 99 million adults get an annual eye exam. There are approximately 200 million adult Americans, so HALF of you aren’t taking good care of the “windows to your soul.” What?

Whether you’re in the 20/20 half or the blurry half, here are 7 reasons you should schedule your appointment today!

1) Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Have you noticed that your eyesight changes over time? If not, just wait until you hit your forties! Even small changes in your sight can cause bothersome headaches, eye fatigue, and that funny chicken neck thing we do when we’re trying to focus on our computer screen. For that last reason alone, it’s important to ensure you have the right prescription by getting an annual check-up. 

2) It’s a steal

You only have 2 eyes and you can’t get new ones (Yet. I saw the eye replacement surgery in the movie Minority Report, so it could be coming.). Even if you could, that would be REALLY expensive compared to the low cost of a comprehensive eye exam at $92 - $164. Where else do you spend $120 a year that’s, well, a little more frivolous and not NEAR as important as your baby blues (or browns or greens or hazels)? Movie tickets, shoes, video games, coffee, candles…just sayin’! 

3) It’s easy

You call, you make an appointment, you show up, you complete a short questionnaire, you look at some cool balloons, squares and dots in a View Master-like machine, you (attempt) to read the eye chart, you sit in front of a cool contraption and answer the same question over and over (Better like this? Better like that?). And poof, you’re done. Click here for a little eye doctor comedy. Seriously, it’s easy. You don’t need to study – it’s not really an “exam.” 

4) Eye exams = good exams

According to Essilor, 10 million children fail each year in school due to vision disorders. Hey mom and dad, for 100ish bucks and an hour of your time, your kids can excel in school and have a better chance at Harvard (which will run you considerably more than 100ish bucks). Enough said. 

5) An ounce of prevention…

Approximately 180 million people have a condition that can be identified during a comprehensive eye exam. Like what? Obviously, eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. But your eye doctor may also be able to tell you if you are developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, some cancers or other problems. According to Essilor, 57 million Americans have pre-diabetes and don’t even know it - an eye exam can detect blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Now, you head-in-the-sand types might consider this as a reason NOT to get an eye exam, but wouldn’t you rather know before it’s a full-blown medical issue? (Side note: putting your head in sand really isn’t good for your eyes, so don’t do that). 

6) Peace of mind

Early detection and disease prevention are great, but it’s also worth the time and money to know that my retinas are attached and healthy! I don’t know about you, but I like to have a little check-in every year to know that all my parts are in proper working order. The Essilor report notes that while 99 million adults have an eye exam every year, only 28 million get a general medical exam. Eyes and body. Both important. And ladies, don’t forget your girls!

7) Premature aging

If #1 - #6 aren’t pulling at your heart strings, how about some purely unscientific (and yes, superficial) observation on my part? Here’s my learning: outdated glasses and excessive squinting add years, people. Please keep your eyewear updated, for cryin’ out loud. Changing from those 1975 wire-framed aviators (NOT the cool ones) to an updated current style that’s right for your face will knock 20 years off your age. And squinting is just really bad for premature crows feet, so go directly to your phone and make an appointment NOW! 

Now it’s your turn to tell us your story! Do you get an annual eye exam? If so, why? If not, why? 


Heidi has a passion for helping busy families control their healthcare dime, time and peace of mind! She writes articles to do just that, while keeping it fun and simple for her readers! She also speaks on healthcare issues and is the owner of

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Tanya Boyd
Tanya Boyd
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