Home News ODs Seem More Compliant With Preventive Care Guidelines Than With Vision Exams

ODs Seem More Compliant With Preventive Care Guidelines Than With Vision Exams

How compliant are ODs with their preventive care? Sixty-nine percent of respondents to a recent Women In Optometry and Review of Optometric Business Pop-Up Poll said that they routinely go to the dentist every six months. Another 83% said they’ve been to their primary care provider for an annual physical within the past year.

Comparatively, 56% said that they have had a comprehensive eye exam in the past 12 months, with another 43% saying it’s been more than a year since their last eye exam.

Most commonly, eye care providers are asking a colleague (69%) to conduct the eye exam – although 20% of respondents said that they do their own eye exam. Another six percent use themselves as a teaching example for staff, doing parts of an exam as needed to explain the process. Still others say they do parts of the exam themselves and then ask someone else – in their office, a referral source or an intern at an optometry school program – to do the parts they cannot do.

There is, of course, an advantage to being about diagnostic equipment and skilled professionals on a daily basis. As one respondent wrote, “As soon as I noticed some flashes of light, I had a colleague examine me. It turned out to be a small peripheral detachment that was lasered the next day.”


In contrast, in addition to the 69% of respondents who said they go to the dentist about every six months, another 15% said they go about once a year. A little more than three percent said they follow an 18-month schedule and 13% said they haven’t been to the dentist in more than two years.


Overall, respondents to this poll are quite compliant with getting annual primary health checkups, with 83% having gone to their doctor for an annual exam in the past year, and eight percent reporting they’ve gone within the past two years. Nine percent said it’s been more than two years since their last primary health physical.


The poll asked readers how compliant they are with specified health screenings – as appropriate for age and gender.

pie chart shows 83% of female ods are very compliant with getting mammograms

Female respondents generally noted a very high rate of compliance with mammograms and women’s health screenings, such as Pap and breast exams (among those who did not check not applicable).

Chart shows that 83% of female ODs said they follow guidelines for recommended health screenings, like Pap smears and breast exams

Male respondents reported a high, but slightly lower rate of compliance with recommended men’s health screenings (among those who did not check not applicable.

pie chart shows that 74% of male respondents said they are compliant with guidelines for men's health screenings

Respondents of all genders responded that following the recommendations for a colonoscopy was still high at 69%, but that particular test had higher percentages of respondents wo said they were slightly less compliant or delaying the procedure.

Pie chart shows 69% compliance with colonscopy guidelines.

Sixty percent of the respondents reported they were female; 40 percent said they were male. Ninety-five percent of the respondents said they were ODs.

Read about the recommended guidelines for preventive care here.

Read more stories from WO on caring for your health and wellness here.

Read other results from WO Pop-up Polls here.

Featured photo credit: Getty Images/Enrique Ramos

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