ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Less than one-third of people take the basic steps necessary to preserve eye sight, according to a Bausch + Lomb global survey released last week. Though if forced to choose, people would rather lose their sense of taste (79%), hearing (78%), one of their limbs (68%) or 10 years off their life (67%) instead of their eyesight.
Bausch + Lomb hopes to raise awareness not only around eye health, but also about how regular eye exams can help identify overall health concerns. "For healthcare professionals, the eyes are the windows to one’s overall health,” stated Cal Roberts, Bausch + Lomb’s chief medical officer.
That’s because the eyes are the one organ where the health of a person’s veins and arteries can be easily seen, allowing eye care professionals to detect signs of more than 150 diseases, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, years before a patient displays other symptoms, Roberts noted.
Key results for from the “Barometer of Global Eye Health” showed:
- 68% of those surveyed said they are knowledgeable about eye health but this assertion is contradicted by the fact that only 21% had regular eye exams over the past five years;
- Women were more likely than men to take steps to protect their vision, such as wearing sunglasses (81% vs. 77%), eating a healthy diet (82% vs. 75%) and refraining from smoking (79% vs. 73%);
- Married people were more likely than singles to have had a comprehensive eye exam in the past year (46% married vs. 38% single);
- For those who did not have regular eye exams, 65% said they had not visited an eye doctor because they did not have any symptoms and 60% because they had clear vision;
- 97% of doctors surveyed globally believe consumers do not have sufficient eye health knowledge; and
- 44% of those polled admitted they thought “I don’t need an eye test unless there is a problem,” while 42% said they believe “If I can see, then my eyes must be healthy.”
Bausch + Lomb, through its research partner KRC Research, surveyed 11,000 consumers across Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.