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Eye opening

See the connection between your vision and your overall health

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Focus on your health

Eye exams aren’t just for finding out whether you need a new pair of glasses or contacts. They’re about getting a better understanding of your eyes, your eye history and your overall health. Tired eyes and frequent squinting can be signs that you need to see an eye care professional.

Eye exams not only help keep your vision sharp. They can reveal serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. And of course, eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma.1

Diabetes and your eyes

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults from age 20 to 74.2 Left untreated, eye diseases, such as retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, could develop.2 However, proper eye care can lead to early detection and treatment of vision-related complications. 

High blood pressure — the silent disease

Your heart is too important to put at risk by overlooking your eye health. By viewing the blood vessels in your retinas, your eye doctor can see early signs of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. 

High blood pressure can affect many vital parts of the body, including the arteries, heart, brain, kidneys and eyes.3 So early detection and treatment are important. 

Sunglasses — more than just for looking stylish

The same ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun that burn your skin can damage your eyes. If you spend time outdoors, you could be at risk for eye problems from UV rays. So wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of both UVA and UVB rays4 to help reduce your risk for:

  • Cataracts 
  • Macular degeneration 
  • Photokeratitis, which causes temporary vision loss

Your eye care professional can help you choose the right eyewear so you can protect your eyes in the great outdoors.

Guarding against blue light

Blue light radiates from your TV, computer, tablet and phone — even the sun. The effects of blue light on vision can be wide ranging and potentially damaging. Effects include blurry vision, difficulty focusing, dry and irritated eyes, headaches and even macular degeneration.

Aetna VisionSM Preferred plan members now have multiple options for purchasing eyewear with blue-light-filtering lenses or antireflective coatings. These special lenses and lens treatments provide protection. All without altering or distorting color perception.

Make a date with your eye doctor

Even if you don’t need vision correction, getting your eyes checked every year can help your eyes — and whole body — stay well. Creating a history of how your eyes have changed over the years is important. So schedule an eye exam today.

Visit or the Aetna Vision Preferred mobile app to find a eye doctor.

Download a PDF of this article here.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keep an eye on your vision health. October 1, 2020. Available at: visionhealth/resources/features/keep-eye-on-vision-health.html. Accessed February 19, 2021.
2 WebMD. How does diabetes affect your body? December 28, 2019. Available at: Accessed February 19, 2021.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts about hypertension. September 8, 2020. Available at: bloodpressure/facts.htm. Accessed February 19, 2021. 
4 American Academy of Ophthamology. Sunglasses: your prescription for eye health. July 13, 2018. Available at: Accessed February 2021

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