Among adults over the age of60, 81 percent say they place a high value on their doctor'sability to identify a non-eye issue. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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With how much they're already spending on health care, it's nosurprise that Americans are willing to forgo their annual eye examjust to save a few bucks.

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According Versant Health's Vision Wellness Study, one in threeAmericans is skipping a visit to the eye doctor due to costs–and itcould be doing more harm to their overall health than theyrealize.

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Related: Vision benefits: 3 reasons brokers should recommendthem

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"The fact is that vision care is preventative care, but ourstudy found that two-thirds of people don't realize that their eyedoctors can detect chronic conditions," says Kirk Rothrock, CEO atVersant Health. "It's critical for people to understand how eyeexams allow for early detection and treatment of potentiallyserious—and costly—health issues."

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According to Versant, an eye doctor can screen for as many as 30chronic conditions during an annual care visit, including diabetesand hypertension. Based on study results, older adults are morelikely to be aware of this benefit of vision exams–81 percent ofadults aged 60+ place a high value on their doctor's ability toidentify a non-eye issue.

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"As people age, they often become more aware of the effect theireyesight has on their quality of life andindependence," says Versant Health COO MaynardMcAlpin. "But eye health also has a significant impact on children,for whom getting an eye exam can mean the difference in theirschool performance."

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Versant compiled the results of its survey into an infographicexploring Americans' perceptions about vision benefits. Check itout:

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Vision infographic Source:Versant Health

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is director, content analytics for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.