Best (and Worst) Cities for Eye Health

For many people, thinking of their health and regular check-ups applies to physicals and the dentist. A type of check-up that falls to the wayside for many is a regular eye exam. It’s important to consistently have your eyes examined, for the sake of your vision, and because eye issues are often the first sign of diseases, such as diabetes, or a side effect of certain medications. Having an annual check-up can prevent these conditions from developing into something worse. Eye exams are quick and painless and are certainly worth it in the long run.

For most, you may be wondering, “How is this information gathered?” That’s the job of VSP Vision Care, a vision benefits provider in Rancho Cordova. They’ve released their annual Eye Health Index, which shows the top 10 best and worst cities for eye health, along with the patterns for eye exams in those cities. They base their results off of the amount of VSP members who receive eye exams in cities with at least 100,000 members.  Read on for the results.

The Top 10

  • Reno, Nevada
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Redding, California
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma


The Bottom 10

  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Bakersfield, California
  • Merced, California
  • Akron, Ohio
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Stockton, California
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Salinas, California

These results are interesting; Reno, Boise, and Oklahoma City have consistently been in the top three positions on this list, while five California cities hold spots in the top ten for worst eye health. There are , like the cities on the worst list have a higher male population, because only 42% of men regularly get eye exams, while 58% of women go for annual check-ups. VSP doesn’t offer any conclusive answers or speculate about the results, they just present the numbers for public viewing.

People who receive regular eye exams are more likely to seek medical assistance before other conditions evolve into something more serious. This mindset ultimately reduces the cost of care for those patients. Luckily, it’s not all bad news for the cities at the bottom of the list; younger people are statistically receiving more eye exams in all cities, which shows that the younger generation has more concern for their general health and takes better care of themselves.

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