NVISION shared that many people make it a priority to see their doctor at least once a year, but how often are Americans seeing their eye doctors? We surveyed more than 1,000 people across the U.S. to find out what’s holding them back from prioritizing their visual health.
For many people, cost and distance are contributing factors, as the average American lives around nine miles from their eye doctor. Our report also provides insights into the states dealing with the biggest eye doctor disparities.
American Eye Care
Whether or not you struggle with vision issues, it’s recommended to get an annual exam by an eye doctor. But are Americans consistently making the trek to get their eyes checked? According to respondents, 48% go at least once a year, 21% every 2 years, 18% visit every 3-5 years, 10% go every 6-10+ years, and 3% have never been to the eye doctor at all.
Overall, the majority of Americans (63%) do not have vision insurance. This may come as a surprise because many people report needing assistance when it comes to their vision. 70% of Americans have prescription glasses, 23% wear prescription contacts, 13% use reading glasses, and 3% have had laser eye surgery. One of the most common reasons for needing vision assistance is refractive errors, which include blurred vision, near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. Over half (58%) of Americans report having refractive errors.
Although some people haven’t recently visited an eye doctor, 53% had their vision checked in the last year. Additionally, 20% had it checked two years ago, and 27% had it looked over more than three years ago.
There are four primary types of vision specialists, and many Americans are unfamiliar with the differences. The two most common specialists are an optometrist and an ophthalmologist, and 58% of Americans don’t know the difference between them. An ophthalmologist treats eyes requiring medical or surgical interventions. Meanwhile, an optometrist manages, treats, and diagnoses eye diseases.