Reveals Cultural Variances in Vision Care Knowledge and Practice
A recent survey shows that many adults do not
consider eye health a priority for either themselves or their children. The survey
reveals alarming statistics that demonstrate that among certain ethnic groups there
exists a gap between vision care knowledge and behavior. The study states that this
may be preventing those who are at the greatest risk of certain eye conditions from
seeking proper treatment and diagnosis.
than 3,700 adults of varying ethnic backgrounds expressed their attitudes toward,
perceptions of, and experiences with vision care in the nationwide Americans'
Attitudes and Perceptions About Vision Care survey.
Here is what the respondents had to say:
► 94% agree that maintaining proper vision is an important priority
►A 74% agree that taking care of their eyes is as important as
other health issues, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
► 14% say they do not have a regular eyecare professional and
► 25% say it has been more than 2 years since their last eye exam
► 35% of parents report that their child has never seen an eyecare
The survey found:
► Of the African-Americans surveyed, 72% were most likely to strongly
agree that maintaining proper vision is an important priority
► However, 21% of African-Americans reported that they do not
have a regular eyecare professional
► 27% of Hispanic respondents strongly agreed that they are very
concerned about their vision getting worse, compared with only 15% of all respondents
► Despite concerns about worsening vision, Hispanics were least
likely to have seen an eyecare professional in the last year (43%).
► 94% of Asian-Americans agreed that maintaining proper vision
is an important priority
► But 36% said that they do not need an eye exam unless they are
having a vision problem
► Caucasians were more likely to report knowing exactly what certain
common vision problems are, including myopia (79%) and presbyopia (34%)
► Despite a majority of Caucasians believing that people should
get their eyes examined at least annually (71%), 25% have not seen an eyecare professional
in the past 2 years.
"Like many diseases, vision problems can disproportionately affect
certain ethnic groups. For example, African-Americans are five times more likely
to have glaucoma, Hispanics are at the greatest risk for cataracts, and myopia or
nearsightedness is much more common among Asians than other ethnic groups," says
Dan Desrivieres, president of the National Optometric Association, a leading
optometry group dedicated to the delivery of effective and efficient eyecare services
to the minority community. "Seeing an eyecare professional regularly may not only
assess your vision and need for updated prescriptions, it may also help identify
and lead to a
diagnosis of other health concerns such as hypertension and diabetes."
About these data: The survey Americans' Attitudes
and Perceptions About Vision Care was conducted online and by telephone within the
United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Vision Care Institute of Johnson
& Johnson Vision Care, Inc. The survey queried a nationally representative cross
section of 3,716 adults aged 18 and older.
Ophthamology Management, Issue: November 2006