64% of Americans Would Rather Spend on Eating Out Than Eyecare

Only 20% Prioritize Eyecare Over Technology and New Clothes The majority of Americans prioritize eating out over spending money on eyecare, including appointments with eye doctors and prescription glasses.

A survey conducted by STAAR Surgical, makers of the Visian ICL, revealed that, when asked about spending priorities, only 20% named eyecare, compared to 64% for eating and drinking out, 47% for new clothes, and 39% on new technology such as the latest iPhone.

Almost half of those surveyed (47%) said they only get an appointment with an eye doctor if they feel their eyesight has gotten worse. A quarter said they don’t attend appointments as they simply don’t find them important.

When asked about the frequency of their eye tests, an encouraging 58% had attended an eye appointment within the past year, and 20% within two years. However, 17% hadn’t been checked in over two years and a further 5% admitted to never having visited an eye doctor. This is despite advice from the American Optometrists Association stating adults up to 61 should get a check-up every two years, and annually for those over 61.1 Furthermore, regular eye exams can help to detect a number of health issues in addition from eye problems, including diabetes, cancer and the risk of stroke, making frequent check-ups even more important.2

Dr. Scott Barnes, Chief Medical Officer from STAAR, commented:

We take vision and proper eye-care very seriously, and we’re very interested in helping all patients understand the necessity and importance of maintaining proper eye health. Regular eye appointments are key to ensuring you have the correct prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses, but also to ensuring you have healthy eyes. We would encourage everyone to get their eyes checked at least every two years. Even if it seems too costly, there are organizations out there like the National Eye Institute (NIE) which can help you find support.” 

Find out more at the NEI website here.

While a quarter of respondents said they got an appointment within a week of enquiring, a worrying one in three respondents said they had to wait between two weeks and a month to see their optometrist, with 9% waiting even longer than 30 days. 

The most common reason for being unable to attend appointments was a lack of time-off from employers. 45% said they struggled to get time off work to visit an eye doctor. There is currently no federal legislation on sick leave for eyecare, but New York City, for example, is lucky enough to get paid leave for such appointments.

A third of respondents said the main reason for not attending appointments was that their local eye doctor was fully booked. STAAR looked at job data from the BLS4 (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and Census population data5 to work out which cities in the US had the best (and worst) access to eye doctors in the country.

The Survey commissioned by STAAR, posted on the Visian ICL Facebook page, 500 responses received. For full responses please use the contact details included.

  1. American Optometrist Association: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/comprehensive-eye-and-vision-examination/recommended-examination-frequency-for-pediatric-patients-and-adults
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthyvision/index.html
  3. New York City Consumer Affairs: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/about/paid-sick-leave-FAQs.page
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/optometrists.htm
  5. US Census Bureau – 2016 Estimates: https://factfinder.census.gov/

About Visian ICL

Also known as the Visian Implantable Collamer® Lens, Visian ICL is the FDA-approved new generation in vision correction. Think of it as an implantable lens that works with your natural eye to correct your vision. Our procedure creates options for a much wider range of prescriptions that can free you from glasses and contacts. Visian ICL offers benefits which people suffering from nearsightedness should consider. For important safety information about the Visian ICL click here.