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Glaucoma can impact your employees’ eyesight. Detect problems early with integrated vision coverage.

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, more than 3 million people in the U.S. have glaucoma. There are usually no warning signs or painful symptoms with the disease, and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40 percent of the eye nerve can be damaged without a person noticing. The beginning of the New Year is a great time to make an appointment with your eye care provider.

According to Dr. Richard Hom, Optometric Director at Anthem: “Glaucoma can affect people of all ages. As researchers and doctors continue working towards discovering a cure for the disease, early detection and immediate treatment can help prevent or slow the further loss of vision.”

Here are some simple ways to help keep an eye on your vision health:

  • Get regular eye exams – Regular comprehensive dilated eye exams are the best way to detect and prevent vision damage or loss due to glaucoma. Eye exams are especially important because some forms of glaucoma progress slowly with no symptoms and obvious physical signs.1

  • Take medications as prescribed – Medicines are available that can lower the pressure inside the eyes and prevent or slow damage to the optic nerve. But, medicines can only work for people who use them.

  • Moderate exercise may be helpful – Those with glaucoma should talk with their doctors about exercise. For people with some types of glaucoma, a brisk walk for 20 minutes, four times a week could lower pressure inside the eye.2 Talking with a doctor first, however, is extremely important.

  • Protect your eyes –Traumatic glaucoma or secondary glaucoma can result from eye injuries at work, at home or on the field.

Integrating health insurance and vision coverage can provide improved benefits for employees. The benefits of integrated care for glaucoma are many:

  • Drug Interactions – Prevention of possible drug interactions with glaucoma medications through secure sharing of prescription information with doctors and pharmacists.

  • Exam Reminders – Reminders can be sent to members who haven’t had a comprehensive eye exam to check for glaucoma.

  • Savings Alerts – Members can be alerted to savings on lower cost glaucoma medications.

  • Complete Data – Clinical studies and real world member experiences with glaucoma medications can be used to determine preferred medications and drug list tiers.

To find out how integrating medical and vision coverage can benefit your company, contact your broker or insurance company representative.

1 What Can I Do to Prevent Glaucoma?, Glaucoma Research Foundation, October 2017, www.glaucoma.org.

2 Can Exercise Lower Eye Pressure? Glaucoma Research Foundation, October 2016, www.glaucoma.org.

Jason Kinzy is a marketing manager at Anthem, Inc. and is responsible for the promotion of Anthem’s specialty business (dental, vision, voluntary, life and disability plans) to members, employers and brokers. He has 20 years of health care marketing communications experience