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The American Optometric Association (AOA) Urges America’s Leading Employers to Join More Than 30 Employers Pledging to Make 2020 the Year of the Eye Exam

December 18, 2019 GMT
AOA logo
AOA logo

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) #2020EyeExam initiative, the organization and doctors of optometry nationwide are calling upon visionary companies across the country to join the 2020 Employer Pledge program – affirming the importance of caring for the overall health and wellbeing of employees and their families by reminding them of the importance of an annual comprehensive eye exam.

“Comprehensive eye exams are one of the most important, preventive ways to preserve vision and overall health,” says AOA President Barbara L. Horn, O.D. “We have engaged more than 30 employers to join our pledge. Through them, we will reach more than 300,000 employees with the message that it’s more important than ever to ensure a comprehensive eye exam with an AOA doctor of optometry is part of their routine, primary health care. We are encouraging all employers to join in this movement and make 2020 the year of the eye exam. ”

The AOA’s American Eye-Q consumer survey revealed many respondents were not aware of how vision impacts overall health. Only 53 percent visit an eye health professional at least once a year and one-third of those surveyed lacked an understanding of how to take care of their eyes and vision.

Eye health and vision problems may develop without any obvious signs or symptoms. In- person, annual eye exams with a doctor of optometry can detect early signs of visual system diseases such as glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. In addition, eye exams safeguard overall health by enabling the doctor of optometry to detect more than 270 serious health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases and cancers.

As with many systemic diseases, most eye diseases, if detected early, can be treated before detrimental effects to health and vision take place. If a problem is detected, doctors of optometry can help patients and their families navigate the right prevention plans or the next steps in official diagnosis and treatment.

Employers are the gatekeepers to health care for 49 percent of Americans and have a vested interest in ensuring their health and wellness. Through AOA’s #2020EyeExam Pledge, employers large and small have the opportunity to uphold the eye health of their employees and promote high-value care by fostering awareness and encouraging everyone to get their annual, in-person comprehensive eye exam with an AOA family doctor of optometry.

Participating organizations will also be highlighted through a year-long communications program reaching the public and AOA’s more than 44,000 doctors of optometry, optometric professionals and students.

For more information on the #2020EyeExam initiative or to take the pledge, please visit AOA.org/2020EmployerPledge.

About the American Optometric Association (AOA)

The American Optometric Association (AOA) is the leading authority on and advocate for quality eye health care, representing more than 44,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and optometric professionals. As the sole primary eye care provider in many communities across America, doctors of optometry are often a patient’s first entry point into the health care system, and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage disorders, diseases, and injuries that affect the eye and visual system. Through a nationwide public health initiative, AOA’s 2020 Campaign is fostering awareness of the importance of eye health and vision care and the overall health benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations with AOA doctors of optometry for all Americans. Find more information about how AOA is shaping the future of health at AOA.org/2020. #2020EyeExam

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SOURCE American Optometric Association