A new report shows an unhealthy dichotomy between Canadians’ strong belief in the importance of vision health, and what they actually know and do about it.
While almost all Canadians believe in the importance of maintaining vision health, many don’t have basic knowledge about how to prevent vision loss and are not taking action to save their sight.
The National Vision Health Report, commissioned by CNIB for Vision Health Month 2015, explores public knowledge, behaviours and opinions relating to vision health.
The survey is the first of its kind in Canada, and has identified gaps in Canadians’ knowledge as it relates to vision health and vision loss, and presents an unexpected contrast between our beliefs and our behaviours.
“There are an estimated 5.5 million Canadians living with a vision-threatening eye disease, and many more at risk” said John M. Rafferty, president and cxhief executive officer of CNIB.
“This report shows they may not be doing all they can to save their sight.”
The report shows Canadians value the importance of vision health maintenance:
92 per cent of respondents believe that eye exams are an important part of their overall health maintenance.
Preventing vision loss places third in terms of priorities for maintaining overall health, behind only heart health and weight management.
82 per cent of Canadians said they teach their children about the importance of regular eye exams.
However, despite their commitment to vision health, there is a dichotomy between their beliefs and their knowledge and behaviours.
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of Canadians say they have not had their eyes examined in the last two years.
Only 47 per cent of Canadians are aware of whether or not their family has a history of eye disease, meaning more than half aren’t aware of potential hereditary risks for conditions like glaucoma.
40 per cent of respondents had no awareness of the most common eye disease causing vision loss, age-related macular degeneration.
15 per cent of Canadians cannot remember when their child’s last eye exam occurred.
Visit cnib.ca/visionhealthmonth for more information.