Things in the distance look a little blurry to you?  Better get your eyes checked.  You might have Myopia or nearsightedness.  Individual health plans and senior health plans like Medicare Supplemental Insurance do not offer vision coverage.  You should purchase a separate policy for vision.  The health insurance premiums for vision plans are very inexpensive, somewhere around $35 a month.  You also do not have to go through underwriting and even if your individual health insurance premiums are kept low because of a high deductible health plan you won’t have that situation with vision health plans.  A typical deductible is $50.

The eye “sees” by focusing light rays from an object you are looking at to the retina. The retina, which is a thin layer in the back of the eye, transmits visual signals to the brain.  When the light is not properly focused on the retina, refractive errors occur requiring glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery to make vision clearer according to the web site from Drs. Ofner, Neale, & Fleming.

Blurry vision that is easily corrected by glasses or contacts isn’t that big of a problem.  Until recently.  From Reuters “People who are nearsighted may be nearly twice as likely to also develop glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, according to a study.”  The post  goes on to say “the findings in the study, a review of previous studies that were published in Opthalmology, suggest to some experts that nearsighted people– a third of all U.S. residents– may want to undergo regular eye screening.  Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, causing gradual loss of vision. There are several treatments available, including drugs and surgery, but none of them can restore sight once it has been lost.”

A study from Nomda Jansonius at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands combined data from 11 previous studies from tens of thousands of people tracking who had myopia and who had glaucoma.  According to the Reuters article “the findings show that nearsightedness and glaucoma often co-occur, not that one causes the other.”

There is an interesting article from AhaWorks.  Kalyani Premkumar has a book called The Massage Connection: Anatomy and Physiology about the relationship between contracted muscles and blood vessels saying that when tension reaches about 70% of maximum, no blood flows through the contracted muscles.  What does that have to do with glaucoma?  “When our muscles contract, it prevents blood and fluids from easily circulating into and around an area.  Good circulation is needed to feed the cells and remove wastes.  Glaucoma is a disease where restricted blood flow damages the optic nerve.”  That seems to me to be the most wonderful idea…. massage to prevent glaucoma!