Vision Statistics and How to Avoid Becoming One - Smart Vision Labs

Vision Statistics

Could you be missing out on perfect vision? A study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that 14 million Americans have vision problems. The good news is that 11 million of these people have a vision impairment that is not only easily treated, but is correctable to 20/40 or better.

About half of American adults who don’t have 20/20 vision are being affected by refractive errors, a study from the National Eye Institute (NEI) found out. The way vision works, when a light ray enters the eye it bends as it travels through the cornea and lens and ends up focusing on the retina. Refractive errors occur when the light coming into the eye doesn’t get bent to focus on the retina properly.

They can be caused by a change in the cornea’s shape, the eyeball itself being too short or long, or an effect of the aging process. Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia are all types of refractive errors. Getting a vision exam will determine which one and how much correction needs to be done so the person can have the best eyesight possible.

Near or farsighted?

The most common vision impairment in the US is nearsightedness, or myopia. Around 41 percent of Americans suffer from this form of poor vision. These people have trouble seeing things that are far away, such as signs on a road or the chalkboard in a classroom. Regular vision testing can diagnose this issue as soon as possible while also eliminating other problems associated with myopia, such as headaches caused by eye strain and squinting.

The opposite vision problem is called hyperopia, or farsightedness. About 25 percent of people have difficulty seeing objects near to their eyes. They may also experience headaches, eye strain, or squinting when they are doing close work, such as reading a book or using a computer. This vision issue can also be easily remedied with corrective lenses as soon as the person receives their results from a vision exam. They may even only need to wear glasses for reading.

Or both?

Most people actually have a bit of astigmatism. A person with astigmatism has trouble seeing objects at any distance – both near and far away subjects appear blurry to them. They may notice eye strain and headaches after any task requiring a lot of eye focusing, such as reading, and have trouble driving at night. Regular vision tests will detect when one’s vision needs correction.

Aging Vision 

Over one billion people around the world experience some degree of presbyopia, the refractive error seen as a person gets older. Unlike nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, this condition happens when the lens of the eye becomes unable to change shape enough to keep close objects in focus. The loss of elasticity in the lens is due to aging. Because people with this eye problem have trouble seeing objects they are holding close, they may stretch their arm out to read labels or hold a book farther away than they used to. Like with other refractive errors, people who have it could notice more frequent headaches and eye strain before they complete a vision exam and receive the appropriate prescription lenses.

Vision Exam

A 5-minute Smart Vision Exam is all it takes to determine if you need corrective lenses, especially if you notice blurry vision or catch yourself squinting. You first answer a few questions about your eyes and health history*. Then, your eyes will be scanned as you simply find the red light. A few images of your eyes will also be taken. All this information is sent to a licensed eye doctor who will review them and report back your results through email within 24 hours. If you do need prescription lenses, they will be available to you behind a secure login and you can take your time picking out just the right pair of glasses.

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*The American Optometric Association recommends a comprehensive eye exam every two years.



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