Did you know an eye exam can do more than measure your eyesight? It can also tell you a lot about your overall health. A comprehensive eye exam with dilation can detect early signs of serious health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more.1 In fact, more than 30 conditions show symptoms in the eyes2, from sickle cell anemia to colon polyps.3

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A couple of years ago, my eye doctor noticed my eyesight had dramatically changed. She stopped the exam and told me to get tested for diabetes before she would continue. Luckily, I didn’t have diabetes, but I was borderline. This allowed me to adjust my diet and exercise more. So far, my blood sugar has stayed in check and I thank my eye exam for originally making me aware of this. I never thought that an eye exam could be life-saving but I look at this more holistically now. I now see there is a connection between my vision needs and my medical needs.

In addition to health issues, there are also a number of vision disorders that are detected during an eye exam. Ask people about the cost of vision loss and they might bring up driving at night or missing out on a good book. They won’t mention what it costs in lost dollars and lost health. The numbers show that vision disorders are among the most costly health conditions in the United States. And that’s just today; The National Association of Vision Care Plans thinks those costs could triple in the next 15 years.4

But there’s good news: When members use vision benefits, companies save in productivity and long-term care.4 That’s not an expense. That’s an investment.

You’ve heard the proverb, “Your eyes are the window to your soul,” but what we can clearly see is an eye exam is truly the window to your overall health. It can help you spot many conditions early on, which helps you get treatment sooner. Early treatment often leads to better outcomes and lower costs in the long run. And who doesn’t want that?




Brigette Sullivan

About Brigette Sullivan

Brigette Sullivan is a Principal Strategic Advisor on the Ancillary Segment team at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. She is an advocate for focusing on overall well-being through proper diet and exercise. She enjoys yoga, gardening, drawing and entertaining with friends.