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Consumer Watch: Saving money on eye care

Skipping eye exams can be dangerous, but there are ways to save money while still caring for your eyes (KOKH)

Eye care can often go ignored when people are trying to save money, but doctors say that's the wrong move. There is a right way, and a wrong way to save money on your eye health. One Oklahoma City optometric physician says, now more than ever, people need to get their eyes checked.

Regular eye exams are important for more than just your vision, they can often clue doctors into other health problems like cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Dr. Tami Ross shows Fox 25 Consumer Watch the difference between a healthy eye, and one with hemorrhages common in people with diabetes.

“The eye is very tolerant. It does not feel bad. You can't tell that there is an issue until it is very, very advanced, so by the time that you notice there is an issue with your vision or with a lot of pain, generally the condition we are seeing is more advanced, and more difficult to treat,” says Dr. Ross, an optometric physician.

Avoiding eye exams altogether, wearing contacts for longer than recommended, and opting for reading glasses over your prescription, are common short term money savers that may hurt your eye care in the long run.

"The issue with that is that sometimes you have a different prescription with each eye, and for you to see visually well and function best your eyes need to be balanced and even. If not it is like you have a tennis shoe and a high heel on one foot so you feel lopsided," says Ross.

Here are some safe ways to save money on eye care: Take care of your frames and switch them out less often. If you need a new prescription, change the lenses, but keep your frames. Opt for monthly contact lenses versus dailies. They tend to be less expensive because there is less product to buy. Also be sure you ask your optometrist office or optical about rebates or sales on eye wear.

The increased use of blue light that comes from computer screens can negatively affect your eyes which is why more doctors are recommending yearly eye exams.

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