2020 – The Year of the Eye

Clear Vision + Healthy Eyes = New Years Resolution

As eye practitioners we see a variety of patients that visit our exam rooms and practices each year:

  • The glaucoma patient that comes every 3 months for her pressure check, visual field or OCT
  • The contact lens patient that hasn’t been seen in 5 years because she ordered a half a lifetime supply of lenses online after her last exam
  • The diabetic patient who comes yearly because his primary care doctor reminds them to at each 6 month A1C visit
  • The spunky 6 year old who fidgets in the exam chair as his parents try not to answer the visual acuity letter for him during his first ”real” eye exam

ALL of these patients have 20/20 vision yet NONE of them have normally healthy eyes. Seeing clearly doesn’t mean that other underlying problems aren’t happening “behind the scenes” like:

  • A 45% decrease in field of vision because her glaucoma wasn’t evaluated and diagnosed until she had to have an eye exam after getting in a car accident – she didn’t see the car coming from the left hand side of her but still managed to pass her drivers eye screening last year
  • Recurrent keratitis resulting in corneal scarring in both eyes because she wears her lenses 18+ hours a day and constantly sleeps in her lenses but hasn’t been in for a contact lens check because “they feel fine”
  • Diabetic retinopathy from hemorrhages due to fluctuation in blood sugar levels that went undiagnosed and untreated because he can “see around the floaters” that started 6 months ago, so he “didn’t think it was a big deal”
  • Accommodative esotropia which is making it difficult for him to focus on reading, and spelling tests, which would explain the headaches he has been having and why he can’t seem to focus or want to pay attention when working on near vision tasks

Many eye diseases and conditions are preventable, treatable and even sometimes curable with regular, routine eye care and examinations. Yearly eye exams are recommended for most patients including diabetics, contact lens wearers, patients taking medications that can have ocular side effects, and should start during adolescence. Patients with ocular diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts may need to be seen sooner for follow up care depending on the severity and complexity of their condition.

Most health insurance plans allow yearly routine eye examinations and some even cover contact lens examinations and evaluations. Those with a medical diagnosis should have medically necessary visits and follow ups covered by their plan, however some plans will require a referral first. Always contact your insurance company directly to verify that your visit will be covered, but don’t skip your visit if you are unsure! Call your medical provider and speak with their insurance verification or billing departments for assistance or insight on visits being covered or not. These medical professionals work with patients and insurances day in and day out and can be a great resource if you are unsure if your plan will cover your visit or not.

Don’t delay, don’t put it off, don’t reschedule…dedicate to clearer, HEALTHIER vision. Resolve to see 20/20 in 2020 with the healthiest eyes you can have.

“I opened two gifts this morning. They were my eyes” ~ Unknown

Resources:
AAO – https://www.aao.org/
AAPOS – https://aapos.org/
Mayo Clinic – https://www.mayoclinic.org/

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