How An Annual Eye Exam Could Save Your Life

Eye Health, Featured Article, VSP
on May 11, 2015

Joel Gleason went in for what he thought would be a routine eye exam. Little did he know, the experience would literally save his life.

During the checkup, Joel’s ophthalmologist, Dr. Carmack, a VSP® provider based in Saint Petersburg, FL, found something alarming—he noticed a plaque in Joel’s eye that indicated carotid artery disease, a potentially fatal condition that occurs when the major arteries in the neck become narrowed or blocked. If left untreated, the arteries can become even narrower, cutting off oxygen to the brain and often resulting in stroke.

“Dr. Carmack called an imaging center to get a duplex scan of my carotids done, stat,” said Joel. “The study showed severe stenosis of my right internal carotid. Further studies at the Mayo clinic confirmed a 98% stenosis that I had fixed, and I am now doing great, thanks to Dr. Carmack.”

Carotid artery disease often doesn’t present any symptoms, so Joel’s annual eye exam enabled his doctor to catch the problem before it progressed into a stroke. Far from atypical, Joel’s story is a testament to the importance of getting an annual eye exam, whether or not you think you have impeccable vision.

Affordable individual vision insurance plans from VSP Direct™ cost as little as $17 per month, and right now, your purchase provides a child in need with a free eye exam and glasses. Find out more at

May is Healthy Vision Month, which means it’s the perfect time to assess whether or not you’ve been making your eye health a top priority. Not only do eye exams screen for vision problems and age-related eye disorders, they also help detect other potentially life-threatening conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. And, with individual vision insurance so affordable, it’s easy to take care of your eyes. For example, VSP Direct offers individual insurance plans for as little as $17 per month.

VSP Direct™ offers the lowest out-of-pocket costs in vision care and typical annual savings of over $200 a year. Find out more at

In addition to affordability, VSP just launched a charity initiative that ensures your investment in your eyesight doubles as an investment in the eye care of children in need.. So right now, when you purchase vision insurance through the #EyeGiveBack program, you provide a child in need with a free eye exam and glasses, at no additional cost to you. Purchasing vision insurance helps protect your health, and it helps a child in need see clearly.

Statistics show one in four children has an undetected vision problem, and nearly 10 million American students have vision conditions that impact learning. A simple comprehensive eye exam can make a big impact in a child’s life, ensuring that correctable vision problems don’t become permanent.

More than 60% of children with learning problems have undiagnosed vision problems. Right now, when you purchase an individual vision insurance plan from VSP Direct™ for as little as $17/month, a child in need receives a free eye exam and glasses. Find out more at

Make the most of Healthy Vision Month by protecting your own eyes and, at the same time, giving back to those in need through the #EyeGiveBack program.
VSP Direct™ is an individual vision insurance product provided through VSP® Vision Care, offering affordable and high-quality individual vision benefits directly to consumers. Individual vision coverage includes an annual eye exam with a copayment, allowance for glasses or contacts, and access to the largest independent doctor network in the industry with 32,000 doctors—all backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. VSP Direct offers the lowest out-of-pocket costs in vision care and a typical annual savings over $200 a year.
Insurance policies have exclusions and limitations.  For costs and complete details of the coverage contact VSP at 800.785.0699.