National Save Your Vision Month is observed every March by the American Optometric Association and is a reminder to make your vision a top priority.

In rural communities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that roughly one-third of adults live with a disability and 1 in 12 adults report having three or more disabilities.

According to the Census, 2.5% of Cambria County’s population and 1.9% of Somerset County’s population has “vision difficulty.”

Due to social factors such as where a person lives and how much money they make can actually increase the risk of vision loss. These social factors are called social determinants of health and are the conditions in places where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a variety of health risks.

Vision loss ranks among the top 10 causes of disability in the United States and, according to the CDC, a recent study found that people who reported having visual difficulty were more likely to:

  • Have lower education level
  • Have health care coverage through Medicaid
  • Have food insecurity
  • Have problems paying medical bills
  • Have trouble finding a doctor
  • Skip doses of medicine because of cost
  • Identify as gay male

The CDC also reports that income, education, neighborhood, and access to care are all social factors that play an important role in vision loss.

Achieving vision health equity can only be done once these barriers are addressed to eliminate health disparities.

This March be sure to:

  • Book an eye exam because regular check-ups are pivotal.
  • Limit screen time because it can help alleviate eye strain. Try to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and focus on something 20 feet away.
  • Wear protective eyewear in any situation that your eyes are at risk of being damaged.


Common Eye Disorders and Diseases | CDC

S1810: Disability Characteristics – Census Bureau Table

Prevalence of Disability and Disability Types | CDC

Social Determinants of Health, Health Equity, and Vision Loss | subsection title | section title | site title (