The Top 5 Reasons People Delay Eye Exams

Your vision and eye health matter. Regular eye exams are one of the best ways to keep your eyes — and your ability to see your world — as healthy as possible. While you might have reasons to skip an eye exam, there are real risks that can cost you in more ways than the short-term “benefits” of avoiding your annual eye exam. 

Today we’re going to look at 5 common reasons people delay their eye exams and how regular eye exams can help you avoid some long-term eye and vision issues. 

Reason #1: “My eyes don’t feel good, but it’s probably nothing.”

When you notice something feeling not-quite-right in your vision like blurriness or symptoms in your eyes such as redness, burning, or pain, that’s a clear message to act. Time is of the essence when an eye problem appears. 

As soon as you notice something looking or feeling “off” in your eyes or your vision, don’t delay. Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor and make sure that everything is okay. This is a crucial action that can help save your vision. 

Reason #2: “I can’t get an eye exam because I don’t have vision insurance.”

While not having vision insurance sounds like a good reason not to get an eye exam, skipping your regular eye exams could be costly to your vision, health, and wallet long term! 

Regular eye exams can help track the progress of vision impairment and suggest the best course of action for correction or lifestyle changes. Plus, eye exams check for more serious vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. 

Don’t forget the benefits for overall health of regular eye exams, which include the potential to spot other body conditions beyond the eyes, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Even if you don’t have vision insurance, getting a regular eye exam is an important part of your overall health. But vision insurance does not have to be expensive — with an included eye exam and simple corrective lenses, it can even save you money each year! Find out your vision insurance costs here: VSP Plan Wizard. 

Reason #3: “My kids’ vision seems OK, so they don’t need an eye exam.”

It might seem like your kids get around their lives just fine, but that doesn’t mean they can see well. In fact, some 19 million children worldwide under age 15 are visually impaired — and three-quarters of those vision impairments are due to easily diagnosed and corrected eyesight problems. 

The CDC recommends starting kids with vision exams early, between ages 3 and 5, to detect vision problems that occur in nearly 3% of young children. These vision problems include amblyopia, reduced vision because the eye and brain are not working together properly. Amblyopia needs to be treated early to help avoid vision loss. 

Even if your kids do not have serious eye issues at their young age, knowing that their eyes are normal and healthy is great peace of mind for any caregiver. You’ll be able to monitor their eyesight as they age and know when they might need eyeglasses as they get older. It’s not uncommon to need glasses or contacts by the time a child passes adolescence, so don’t delay! Get your kid’s eyes tested regularly and set a healthy baseline that will stay with them as they grow up. 

Reason #4: “I can still see out of my contact lenses.”

Using contact lenses for months or years will get you familiar with how they feel and how they affect your vision. But you might get a little bit “too” comfortable if you don’t keep track of how your vision is changing, as well as how your contact lenses are fitting your eyes and your overall lifestyle. 

Each year, about a million people nationwide suffer from eye infections that require an eye doctor’s assistance — or a hospital! — and many of these infections are related to contact lens use. One of the most common eye infections is called keratitis, and it can cause damage to your cornea if left untreated. Make sure you’re paying attention to how your contact lenses feel and get regular eye exams to help detect any low-level vision issues that you might be overlooking that could cause serious vision complications later. 

Reason #5: “My eyes feel fine!”

This reason to avoid an eye exam is so common — and can be so risky as well. When your eyes feel fine, it’s simple to put off regular eye exams that can help prevent serious eye problems that could dramatically affect your life. 

In other parts of your life, you might be doing the right kind of regular checkups — even without much thought! For example, you might be getting regular oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks for your vehicle. But what if you decided that your car was running well enough and you put off getting fluids checked and changed? You’d save a little time and money at first, but down the road there could be a catastrophic effect from this “delayed maintenance” action. 

Your eyes and your vision deserve the habit of regular eye exams! 

Now, let’s look at how you can reduce the cost of your regular eye health services. Vision insurance is a great way to protect your eye health while reducing overall costs for prescription lenses, contacts, and exams. Let’s take a deeper dive into the importance of vision insurance.

How can vision insurance help with eye exams?

Vision insurance is designed to specifically cover vision concerns and to help cover the costs of routine eye exams. A vision insurance plan also typically offers discounted rates on corrective glasses and contact lenses. Most vision insurance plans put their focus on preventive care by covering most of the cost of your eye exam visit, leaving you with a small copayment instead of the full exam cost. 

Without regular eye exams, several serious health and vision issues may go undetected. Eye exams check for glaucoma, cataracts, and the overall health of your eyes. Discovering these problems early can make treatment simpler and even prevent blindness. 

Beyond vision health, regular eye exams play an important role in your overall health. During eye exams, your eye doctor can detect signs of other non-vision-related health issues, such as diabetes and hypertension. Undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes can not only lead to serious full-body health issues, but may also lead to eye damage and potentially vision loss.

Conclusion: Get Your Regular Eye Exam!

The risks of not having regular eye exams should be clear. Reduce your risk of serious health and vision issues by scheduling your next eye exam today. Having vision insurance is a great option for all of the cost-saving benefits, as well as access to reliable vision care and the ability to detect more serious problems. With VSP, you’ll have access to a huge network of eye doctors all over the country. Plus, you’ll almost certainly save money! Vision insurance is an essential part of your total health coverage, and a great reason to help you get that next eye exam scheduled! 

Is having vision insurance worth it? When it comes to ease of eye exams, absolutely. VSP has everything for complete vision health, including vision correction allowances, preventative health screenings, annual eye exams, and more. With providers across the country, it’s easy to find a location near you. Get started today with VSP’s Vision Plan Wizard to find the vision plan that’s right for you and your family.

Information received through VSP Vision Care's social media channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

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