October 9th, 2018

// Essilor Canada Urges Canadians To Take Their Eye Health Seriously

Essilor Canada Urges Canadians To Take Their Eye Health Seriously


MONTREAL, Oct. 9, 2018 /CNW/ - Canadians are now more engaged than ever when it comes to their personal health and wellness, except when it's time to take care of their most used and abused feature—their eyes. With World Sight Day this week, Essilor Canada is launching a nationwide public awareness campaign designed to promote the vital role of an eyecare professional and encourage the 1.8 million of Canadians living with uncorrected vision1 to visit their eye doctor over the next year.

Eyecare can have an impact on your quality of life.

To better understand Canadian consumers' current eye health behaviours, Essilor recently conducted market research including focus groups and an online survey focusing on eye exams, eyecare practitioners, eyeglass purchases, wellness, as well as lifestyle. Research showed that 72% of Canadian adults spend seven or more hours in front of three different electronic devices per day, and 90% of them reported at least one eye-related problem linked to digital devices last year2. While they recognize there are negative consequences for excessive screen time, 42% of them also admit that even significant vision issues, such as: double vision, regular eye pain, blurred vision, watery, dry eyes or headaches when looking at a screen, are not motivation enough to take action3. They state their vision is "not that bad."

"Our eyes are being used, and strained, now more than ever. Proper eye health and vision correction have a major impact on quality of life, but neither can be achieved without an annual routine visit to assess your eye health. This campaign aims to remind the estimated 1.8 million Canadians who are living with uncorrected vision that healthy eyes start with in-person eye examination. We also aim to re-engage the millions more who have gone longer than two years without a visit and encourage them to take their eye health seriously," explains Barbara Heffez-Piper, President of Essilor Canada.

Eye exams are not just about seeing clearly.

Your eyes are a window to your health and taking care of them could be life-saving. Regular comprehensive eye exams can lead to early detection of a number of conditions, health issues and illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, thyroid disease and even high blood pressure4. An eyecare professional is an important member of your healthcare team. They are one of the only doctors who can properly examine your eyes and help you identify these diseases before they become problematic. Eyecare professionals can monitor for changes in partnership with other members of your healthcare team.

Given our aging population, Canada is facing a potential crisis in age-related eye disease and it is expected to cost us more than $30 billion annually by 20325. Six in 10 Canadians reported having had a vision problem6 and still their high tolerance for poor vision will make them put off getting an exam until it significantly impacts their ability to perform day-to-day activities.

On the other end of the spectrum, current research shows that it is also impacting our children. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, has been on the rise globally over the past several decades. A 2016 study by the University of Waterloo found that while the rate of myopia was 6% in children aged 6–8, it increases to 28.9% in children aged 11–137.

The good news is that 75% of vision loss can be treated or prevented through proper eyecare, such as routine examinations8.

You wouldn't put off seeing the dentist for a toothache, why put up with poor eyesight?

Our research demonstrated a low consumer awareness regarding eyecare which resulted in misconceptions and a compromised eyecare experience. Vision is not top of mind when consumers think of wellness, as they put having a regular eye exam behind going to the dentist in terms of importance. When asked, "Where do you do your research to learn about your eye health?" participants surveyed answered "Google" followed closely by their family doctor (42%), and family and friends (37%)9.

"World Sight Day is the perfect opportunity for Essilor Canada to reaffirm our mission of improving lives by improving sight and to show our commitment to a healthy, thriving independent eyecare community in Canada. We want to help our local eyecare professionals remind their patients that regular eye health examinations are critical for long-term eye health and the best quality of life through great vision," said Heffez-Piper.

This innovative new media campaign will include traditional and digital out of home advertising in the cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Additionally, digital ads across the country, including search engine marketing, online advertisements and online videos will encourage patients to visit an eyecare professional for eye examinations. For additional campaign information, please visit: MyEyeExam.ca

The campaign speaks to eyecare professionals as it encourages consumers to get complete eye exams, which will drive traffic to their clinics. Independent eyecare professionals and optometrists looking to take advantage of opportunities such as this to grow their business with Essilor should contact their Essilor Representative.

1 Essilor Canada Commissioned Research Report, July 13–23, 2018.
2 Essilor Canada Commissioned Research Report, July 13–23, 2018.
3 Essilor Canada Commissioned Research Report, July 13–23, 2018.
4 https://visionfirsteyecare.com/10-health-risks-detected-by-eye-exams/
5 https://opto.ca/the-federal-role-in-eye-health-and-vision-care
6 https://opto.ca/sites/default/files/resources/documents/cao_pre_budget_submission_final_with_references_august_3_2017_1.pdf
7 https://core.uwaterloo.ca/news/first-of-its-kind-study-illustrates-prevalence-of-myopia-in-canadian-children/
8 https://opto.ca/sites/default/files/resources/documents/online_better_vision_for_seniors_en_2016.pdf
9 Essilor Canada Commissioned Research Report, July 13–23, 2018

SOURCE Essilor Canada


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