Vision care is an essential aspect of health and is necessary to improve one’s daily life. In California, having more ophthalmologists and optometrists in an area lessens the prevalence of vision impairment. Unfortunately, some counties in the state have a complete lack of eye doctors, making eye care harder to access and increasing vision impairment rates. While Elk Grove has many eye clinicians, things can still be done to improve vision care for residents. Better access to doctors, corrective products, and care elements that are financially accessible and easy to acquire can prevent other health issues from developing and enhance overall well-being. Here’s how vision care in Elk Grove can be improved further:
Widening access to corrective vision products
Corrective products, such as eyeglasses and contact lenses, are crucial for improving vision and the quality of life for those who need them. However, issues with distance or finances can prevent some people from accessing these products. This is why retailers make prescription glasses more widely accessible through online services, which can include free shipping and discounts for broken frames. California-based brand Oakley is at the forefront of this trend, allowing people to buy their prescription glasses entirely online without going to a store, making it faster to obtain their desired item. With the option to customize the eyewear, brands like Oakley make it much more suited to individual needs and preferences, making for a more inclusive and accessible shopping experience.
Vision care coverage
Even if eye clinicians and corrective vision products are abundant, not everyone can afford the required care. Low-income residents of Elk Grove and other cities across the country may not have insurance or are unaware of what is covered by their health plans, making them apprehensive about visiting eye doctors and taking eye exams, which could help identify and correct vision issues. However, initiatives like California’s move to cover health care for immigrants regardless of immigration status help make vision care more accessible. Low-income adults living in the country illegally comprise one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state, and having their health insurance covered can help them be more open to getting the help they need for their wellness, including vision care.
Impairments in access to eye care are complex and intersectional; it’s more than just an issue of distance to eye clinicians or lack of health care coverage. Social factors can impact eye health, and discrimination prevents people from accessing comprehensive and fair health care. With Elk Grove being incredibly diverse, it’s vital that everyone can get the vision care they need without facing barriers due to who they are. Marginalized communities suffer most from this inequality and inequity, so there needs to be an acknowledgment of the hurdles they face to address eye care disparities. Community-based programs can help in this regard, such as creating initiatives that provide free eyeglasses to children or holding free eye exams for those without health insurance and members of low-income households. More visibility for existing programs can improve vision care in Elk Grove, lowering rates of vision impairment regardless of social status and ethnic background.