Healthy Eyes and Vision: When was the last time your eyes were checked?

Individual vision 
For most people, having health and dental insurance is a top priority so that their basic health needs can be met. However, another important type of insurance that’s often overlooked is individual vision insurance. 

If you can read without needing glasses or see into the distance without squinting, then your eyes are just fine, right? Well, how do you know your eyes are truly healthy? Assuming you don’t need vision insurance simply because you can see just fine or because you already have glasses or contact lenses is dangerous not only for your eyes, but also for your overall health. You’ll see why in just a few paragraphs.

If you’re curious to find out whether your eyes are in good shape (and your assumptions about your vision have been right so far), take a look at these bullet points. These are the signs and symptoms of unhealthy eyes: 

  • Blurry vision. While blurry vision can mean a number of things (namely the need for glasses or contacts), it can mean something very dangerous for people with high blood pressure. One of the side effects of hypertension is blurry vision, which is why it can be imperative to get to the doctor quickly.
  • A sty that won’t go away. If the sty doesn’t go away within a few months, or if it keeps reappearing in the same spot, it could be a rare cancer known as sebaceous gland carcinoma.
  • Bumpy yellowish spots on the eyelid. This can be a warning sign that you have high cholesterol because the bumps are basically fatty deposits.
  • Burning, dry eyes. If you’ve been staring at a computer too long or if you’ve been taking certain medications, you may have this side effect. Autoimmune diseases can cause dry eyes, too.
  • Red spots or dots. These red spots are dots of blood in the eye that can be a sign of diabetes. Blood vessels get blocked and swell up when blood sugar builds up too high. This can make the small blood vessels in the retina burst, causing bleeding.
  • Red, itchy eyes. Add swollen to that symptom, and you’ve got someone suffering from allergies. Pollen, dust, or animal dander are common triggers.

While these are only just a few of the many signs of unhealthy eyes, they’re common enough that you should know if you’ve ever experienced any of them. They’re also a testament to the fact that vision care and individual vision insurance are incredibly important. To make things easier, here is a list of just a few of the benefits of taking care of your eyes:

  • Prevents eye diseases, blindness, vision problems, general health problems
  • Fewer headaches
  • Better performance at work and school
  • Less computer eye strain
  • More accuracy in sports

Getting vision coverage so that you can get a comprehensive eye exam will allow the optometrist to detect general health issues by evaluating and examining every part of your eye. Hopefully, this will keep eye diseases and other health problems from getting worse because they will have been caught at an early stage. Once any eye problems are diagnosed, you can work on getting them fixed, which will improve your overall quality of life. 

What happens if you don’t get your eyes regularly checked?

If you don’t take the time to research eye care insurance for individuals so that you can get your eyes regularly checked, you may not recognize the symptoms of eye disease or other health-related problems. Remember, early detection is the best way to prevent ocular disease. Here are a few more symptoms of serious health problems that are manifested through the eyes:

  • Cloudy eyes—cataracts
  • Droopy eyelids—sign of an autoimmune disease
  • Sudden double vision—warning sign of having a stroke
  • Suddenly seeing specks or flashes of light—can be a sign of a torn retina
  • Bloodshot eyes—intense cough, pinkeye, fungal infection

In fact, an internal study of 120,000 patients by the insurance company VSP Vision Care found that an eye exam was the first indicator of 34 percent of diabetes cases, 39 percent of cases of high blood pressure, and 62 percent of cases of high cholesterol. Eye doctors are often the first health care providers to detect signs of chronic systemic conditions. For high cholesterol, this occurred 65 percent of the time. For diabetes, it was 20 percent of the time, and for hypertension, it was 30 percent of the time. The following bullet points outline more shocking statistics about eye care (or the lack thereof):

  • About 11 million Americans over age 12 need vision correction.
  • Of the estimated 61 million US adults at high risk for vision loss, only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months.
  • Less than 15 percent of preschool children get an eye exam, and less than 22 percent receive vision screening.
  • Early detection and treatment can prevent or delay blindness due to diabetic retinopathy in 90 percent of people with diabetes, but 50 percent or more of them don't get their eyes examined or are diagnosed too late for effective treatment.

Overall, it’s quite obvious that if you don’t get vision insurance for individuals so that you can get your eyes checked, you’re risking more than just your eyes’ health.

What is Vision Insurance and why is it important?

What exactly are individual vision insurance plans? The term vision insurance is commonly used to describe health and wellness plans designed to reduce costs for routine preventive eye care and prescription eyewear. Vision plans are important because they motivate people to get to the doctor and have their eyes checked. Studies have shown that people with insurance have a higher tendency to use preventive benefits because they’re paying for the insurance every month, even if it’s a small premium. They avoid paying higher medical bills down the road because the eye doctor detects problems before they even happen.

As discussed earlier, vision insurance plans are also important because ocular health can be a key indicator in detecting early stages of diabetes, hypertension, cataracts, glaucoma, and much more. Unfortunately, 20 percent of the U.S. lacks coverage for basic eye exams. Whether it’s due to complacency or the fact that some people don’t think affordable vision insurance exists, there’s no good reason to not invest in one of the best vision plans you can find. You can always find individual vision insurance plans that aren’t expensive and that still meet your needs. Also make sure you follow these healthy-eye tips to ensure that your chances of getting eye diseases or other health problems are very low:

  • Get a routine comprehensive dilated eye exam
  • Know your family’s eye health history
  • Eat right to protect your sight
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear protective eyewear, including sunglasses
  • Don’t smoke
  • Rest your eyes
  • Clean your hands and eyewear properly

Contact EMI Health Today for Information on Our Individual Vision Plans

When it comes to individual vision insurance, there’s no compromising on quality or affordability. Fortunately, EMI Health offers various individual vision plans to fit all your needs and budgets. We know the importance of eye care, which is why we’re here to help you find the best vision plan for your situation. We also offer individual dental in Utah if you’re looking for both vision and dental insurance. Contact us today with any questions you might have by calling 1-800-662-5851 or by visiting www.emihealth.com.

Sources:

https://www.caring.com/articles/what-your-eyes-say-about-your-health
https://www.vspdirect.com/vision-health 
https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips 
https://nei.nih.gov/health/healthyeyes 
http://www.businessinsider.com/signs-of-disease-in-the-eyes-2014-9 
http://www.cdc.gov/features/healthyvision/ 
http://www.allaboutvision.com/vision-insurance/what-is-it.htm 
http://www.securitylife.com/the-spark-news/the-spark-news/2014/03/14/the-importance-of-having-vision-insurance#.V6uRcTkrLjA