This article is sponsored by VSP Vision Care. All opinions expressed are my own.

Never in my lifetime did I believe we would have a global pandemic. COVID-19 has completely changed the state of our world, how we spend time with our loved ones, and reshaped our futures. It has made us grateful to simply share a hug. For me, this pandemic also changed how I viewed my health, including the health of my eyes. As someone who has worn contacts for many years, my glasses were outdated, my prescription had changed, and I began to panic as it became apparent  that I needed an eye exam as soon as possible. Due to the global lockdown, that did not happen for many months. 

As a mother this urgency to check my eye health went beyond my own vision. It also affected my concern for my daughter’s eyes as well. As we gear up for 2021, I want to talk about why we should take our eye health seriously and how an eye exam can reveal other factors about your health. 

Eye exams can detect signs of a wide range of chronic illnesses, ranging from certain types of autoimmune diseases, to cancer, to diabetes. In our community, we are statistically put at risk at a rate of 60% higher of being diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic Whites, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Diabetes is also the leading cause of vision loss.

We partnered with VSP Vision Care, the largest not for profit vision care company in the country to help bring awareness to the relationship between your eyes and your total health and how to detect signs of many chronic diseases like diabetes through annual eye exams. During this time of planning for the future, I want to make sure you have a comprehensive eye exam on your to do list. Remember this, even if you have good vision, your eyes can still be unhealthy. Good vision is not necessarily a sign of good overall health. Only a comprehensive eye exam can determine the health of your eyes. 

How Has COVID Changed Eye Exams

While many are nervous to see their eye doctor during COVID, practices are taking proper precautions to ensure you feel safe during your eye exam. Many things are different, such as you may need to fill out forms in advance, follow social distancing practices in certain areas and wear a mask during your appointment. For specific safety requirements, it’s important to check with your local eye doctor before your appointment. 

When scheduling your eye exam, it’s important to ensure it’s comprehensive. A comprehensive eye exam includes dilation of the pupil or non-invasive technology to analyze the retina. This allows your eye doctor to see the blood vessels in the back of your eye, giving them the ability to detect early signs of chronic health conditions.

Starting the New Year Off With Clear Vision

VSP Vision Care offers low cost vision coverage, access to a network of eye doctors and stylish eyewear – for children and adults. As we begin to make resolutions for our new year, make sure you have added a vision exam to your checklist for you and your family. 
It is safe – and more important than ever – to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Find a VSP network doctor at vsp.com/eye-doctor

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