By Kristina Michel
To help you protect your vision and maintain good eye health, the POWER UP Employee Wellness Initiative encourages all University of Houston staff and faculty to schedule an annual eye exam.
January was Glaucoma Awareness Month and UH employees insured by UnitedHealthcare HealthSelect may receive an annual co-pay fee waiver from The University Eye Institute. This waiver will cover out-of-pocket expenses but applies only to an annual, comprehensive well vision eye exam. It does not apply to medical examinations.
The fee waiver, which may be used only once per year, only pertains to UH faculty/staff and does not include covered dependents or other family members. Eligible faculty and staff can make an appointment for a complete eye examination at The University Eye Institute by calling 713-743-2020 or by visiting www.uei.uh.edu.
According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States, and the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Known as the “sneak thief of sight,” glaucoma results in gradual vision loss and eventually blindness. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, medication and surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. Early detection is vital to stopping the progression of the disease.
Currently, 2.7 million people in the U.S. over the age of 40 have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030. The most common forms of glaucoma primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly, but the disease can affect people of all ages. For this reason, it is important to stay informed of this incurable disease and to have annual vision checks.
To learn more about glaucoma and what to do to protect your vision, visit the National Eye Institute website at nei.nih.gov