Protect Your Whole Family’s Vision With an Annual Eye Exam

It is back-to-school time! Have your child’s eyes been checked out? An annual eye exam is as important to your child’s health as going to the dentist and getting regular physicals from the pediatrician. Health problems, as well as academic problems, can be detected (see below) during an eye exam. If you haven’t done so, please, please consider having your entire family’s vision checked.

The helpful staff at VSP answered some questions to help us better understand vision care and how to obtain vision care insurance:

What is “Open Enrollment?”

Fall is the time when many employers offer benefits enrollment to their eligible employees. Many will have the opportunity to enroll in VSP Vision Care, the nation’s leading not-for-profit vision care company. A person can only change his or her vision benefits during this Open Enrollment time period, so enrolling then is important!

When is Open Enrollment?

For many employers, Open Enrollment occurs in the fall. These months also coincide with back-to-school, making it a prime time for parents to book their family’s annual eye exams before the new school year starts.

What program options does VSP have available during Open Enrollment?

VSP offers an array of vision plans to employers, from plans that cover comprehensive eye exams and eyewear to discount plans. A typical VSP Vision Care plan includes a WellVision® Exam, which is a comprehensive eye exam, an allowance for eyewear (prescription glasses and contacts) and savings on glasses, sunglasses and laser vision correction. The plan that you have depends on your employer, and you should always check with them for more details. For individuals who don’t have access to VSP Vision Care through their employer, such as those who are self-employed or retired, they can purchase an individual plan from VSP Direct.

Why should families consider having vision care benefits?

  • For Adults: Eye health is critical to your overall health. Eye exams allow VSP eye doctors to detect early signs of health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, among others. They are important for everyone in your family.
  • For Children: Since 80 percent of what you learn is through your eyes, your eyesight is critical to performing your best. An annual eye exam is one of best ways to ensure your child’s success in school, sports and extra-curricular activities. To help your child learn and experience life to the clearest, vision care benefits are a must.

The new school year is beginning soon. What signs can parents look for to determine if their child might have a vision problem?

There are many different signs that can indicate if your child is struggling with his or her vision. Some common signals include squinting, head tilting, avoiding “close work,” having trouble focusing, continuous rubbing of their eyes or experiencing headaches. Underperformance in academics, sports or behavioral problems may also be the root of underlying vision issues.

What does an annual eye exam include, and why is important to have one?

An annual eye exam is a comprehensive eye exam, which is very different from an in-school exam. In-school screenings help to identify major vision problems—such as near and farsightedness—but do not test for all of the problems that a comprehensive eye exam does. An in-school exam could miss issues such as binocular vision (when the eyes do not work together) or bigger medical conditions.
In an annual eye exam, you provide your medical and eye history, which helps the doctor to evaluate your risk for vision problems, eye diseases and other medical conditions. The eye doctor will test your vision using the Snellen Chart (the chart with the rows of letters in different sizes) to see how well you can read from a distance and test for glaucoma through a little puff of air in your eyes.
One in four children has an undetected vision condition that can negatively impact learning. Because an in-school screening doesn’t always sufficiently pick up the wide variety of vision issues, it is critical to book a comprehensive eye exam every year for your children to make sure that they are reaching their full potential.

How can “A Mom in Red High Heels” readers learn more about VSP?

At VSP’s consumer website, you can learn more about the importance of vision care and eye health, along with how much you can save with a VSP Vision Care plan. You can click on “Get Access to Great Eyewear” to see what designer brands VSP has to offer or check out the savings calculator to calculate how much you would save by enrolling. Also, don’t miss the chance to educate your children about eye health with VSP’s “Learn About Your Eyes” section! It’s full of fun facts about eye exams, sports vision and tips to protect your eyes from the sun, among others.

What is the first step in getting signed up during Open Enrollment?

The very first step is to ask your employer if they offer a VSP Vision Care plan, and sign up during your company’s Open Enrollment. Don’t miss the chance to protect your whole family’s vision!


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  1. Peter says:

    Hi Tammy! Thank you for your post. It literally reminded me that I need to have my eyes checked. Talk about law of attraction, yes? Haha!


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