Survey: Patients lack eye-health knowledge

July 25, 2012
Ophthalmology Times Staff Reports

According to a recent survey by Bausch + Lomb, consumers don't have sufficient eye health knowledge. Also revealed, women take better care of their eyes.

Rochester, NY-Consumers do not have sufficient eye health knowledge, according to 97% of physicians responding to a recent survey, and 94% of eye-care professionals responding said that women take better care of their eyes than men do.

These are just two of the findings of the “Barometer of Global Eye Health,” a new global survey by Bausch + Lomb (B + L) that surveyed 11,000 consumers in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“For health-care professionals, the eyes are the windows to one’s overall health,” said Cal Roberts, MD, B + L’s chief medical officer. “B + L and its partners in the medical community know first-hand that getting regular examinations not only helps preserve one’s vision but also can provide early detection of other serious diseases.”

The company plans to use the survey results to educate consumers about the importance of seeing an eye doctor regularly to avoid serious eye diseases and to increase the chances of early detection of other chronic conditions.

Other findings:

• For those participants who did not have regular eye exams, 65% said they had not visited an eye doctor because they did not have any symptoms, and 60% said it was because their vision was clear.

• A full 44% of those polled thought they didn’t need an eye test unless a problem existed, and 42% said they believe that their eyes must be healthy if they can see.

• In all, 39% said that the only reason to visit an eye doctor is for vision correction.

• When it came to their eyes, 30% of those surveyed said, “If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not serious.”

• Only 21% of respondents had regular eye exams over the past 5 years.

• Women participating in the survey were more likely than responding men to wear sunglasses (81% versus 77%), eat a healthful diet (82% versus 75%), and refrain from smoking (79% versus 73%). All of these habits can protect vision.

• Married participants were more likely than single respondents to have had a comprehensive eye exam in the past year (46% versus 38%).

• Respondents said that, if forced to choose, they would rather lose their sense of taste (79%), hearing (78%), one of their limbs (68%), or 10 years of their life (67%) instead of their eyesight.

• Three-fourths of those who participated in the survey said they would rather have their pay cut in half than have a permanent 50% decline in the quality of their vision.

For detailed results of survey, visit www.bausch.com/barometer.

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