Are Annual Eye Exams Important?

Here are some highlights from Johnson & Johnson Vision’s Prioritize Your Eyes campaign, a worldwide effort to raise awareness about the importance of eye health and encourage everyone to get an annual eye exam.

80% of adults said they view an eye exam as important for their health and recognized that healthy vision improves their quality of life (68%), keeps them safe (61%) and is critical to overall well being (55%).

• Despite this, less than half (46%) of all respondents said they get an eye exam each year. The reasons they give are as follows: No change in their vision, not prioritizing their eyes or eye exams being too expensive.

• 24% of Gen Z and Millennials globally said they can no longer afford to see an eye doctor.

• 26% of Americans said an annual eye exam was too expensive.

• COVID-19 has elevated the importance of health. Less than one in five (16%) were reluctant or unable to make an appointment for an eye exam due to the pandemic.   

• Globally, adults may not understand what steps are needed to take care of their vision as less than half of adults believed they could prevent their eyesight from getting worse (47%) or said that vision loss is a part of aging and they have no way to stop it (46%).

• Adults also did not recognize the potential benefits and impact of having healthy vision, including that it can impact learning and comprehension (39%), or is critical for healthy development in children (25%).

• Despite reporting that they knew an eye exam could help diagnose early signs of chronic diseases (69%), they weren’t aware it could help detect diabetes (only 25% knew), cardiovascular disease (10%), or cancer (9%).

• Optometrists  and primary care doctors can play an integral role in patient education as half believe eye care providers  and family doctors (53% and 49% respectively) are responsible for ensuring that patients are informed about the importance of routine eye exams in detecting early signs of disease.