It’s more important than ever to maintain your ocular health – but it might not be just your quality of life that benefits. In fact, a new report from Prevent Blindness America has revealed that the costs of treating vision-related illnesses are skyrocketing…
And they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
Vision-related illnesses and diseases have been shown to cost patients, insurance companies, and the government almost $140 billion this year, more than double the costs in 2007, the year when similar research was conducted. Health experts are worried about how the costs will burden individuals who should be more vigilant than ever about maintaining their ocular health.
So why the increase in costs for vision-related illnesses?
The Reason for the Rise
Blame it on the boomers. According to President and CEO of Prevent Blindness America, Hugh R. Parry, the Baby Boomers are starting to hit retirement – and that means more cases of aged-related diseases like cataracts and macular generation.
“We feel that we now have a true estimate of the current and growing costs of eye disease in this country. Armed with that information, we can address the need for increased prevention, research and healthcare options,” said Parry. “It’s important that people understand that eye disease is among the most expensive conditions in our country, with over half the cost currently being assumed by aging patients and their families.”
Parry hits upon another reason for the rising costs in treating vision problems. As ocular diseases and conditions are so expensive to treat, this means that insurance premiums are higher, as are office costs and surgical procedures. Take a look at the breakdown from the 2013 Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders Report:
- A breakdown of estimated costs of eye disorders and vision loss from the perspective of three payers: government ($47.4 billion), private insurance companies ($20.8 billion in direct medical costs and $1.3 billion for long-term care), and patients ($71.6 billion).
With these astonishing statistics in mind, it’s no wonder that more health experts are stressing the importance of excellent ocular health practices, like making regular appointments with your ophthalmologist.
Visit Dr. Renee Bovelle and her team at Envision Eye and Laser Center in Glenn Dale, Maryland – also serving the greater Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. areas – to learn more about preventing eye diseases and preserving your ocular health.