Insights From Our Editors

Opportunity: Students with Undiagnosed Vision Problems

Oct. 14, 2015

The world is in need of your expertise as an OD, and so is your local community, findings from The Global Need for Glasses Study suggest. The study, conducted in collaboration with Deloitte, revealed that 1.1 billion people around the world need glasses, but don’t have access to vision care. Closer to home, in the U.S., one in four students have an undiagnosed vision problem.

Did you know …
• 25 percent of students in the U.S. have an undiagnosed vision problem
• Over 3 million Americans have glaucoma. Only half know they have it.
• High-risk groups of people for glaucoma are:
People over 60

Family members of those already diagnosed
People who are severely nearsighted

• 15 million Americans have age-related macular degeneration
• 80-90 percent have dry AMD
• 29.1 million Americans have diabetes
• 8.1 million people have the condition, but are undiagnosed
• 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes
• More than 65 million American adults have hypertension
• One-third to one-half do not know they have the condition
• Another 59 million Americans have a condition called pre-hypertension with blood pressure ranging from 120/80 to 138/89
When we first looked at these numbers it caused us to sit back in our chairs. How can so many people be undiagnosed in the 21st century, in a first-world country with medical technology that is the envy of the rest of the world? These numbers cry out for action.
Since the holidays are just around the corner, let’s create a marketing project called: Give the Gift of Sight this Holiday Season. The action items needed for this project are:
1) Create a system for people to buy eye exams for other people.
2) Create a system to let someone know an eye exam has been purchased for them.
3) Create an internal and external marketing program for this project.
4) Train all staff so they know what to do and how to do it.
This project can be run from now until after the first of the year, then the program can be continued for the rest of the year by simply removing the “Holiday Season” words from the ads.
To help you get started, we created an ad that could be used in this project, and put it below for you to use.
Let’s take action and see if we can reduce the number of people with undiagnosed problems that can negatively impact both their vision and their life.

Let your mind absorb these facts for a minute: 25 percent of U.S. students have an undiagnosed vision problem, one half of patients with glaucoma are undiagnosed, many of the patients with AMD are undiagnosed, about 28 percent of the diabetics are undiagnosed, and 33-50 percent of adult hypertensives are undiagnosed.
Those numbers easily make the case that there is a tremendous need for excellent vision care to be delivered to the patients in our communities.
Let’s take this week to make sure that we are addressing these key conditions in our offices. Review the history, pre-testing, and testing to make sure we are identifying every one of the these people who come through the office.


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