VSP puts the focus on eye health and annual eye exams

May is Healthy Vision Month, and as part of your Purdue vision coverage you are covered by Vison Service Plan (VSP), and your eye exam (available every calendar year) is only $5 when completed by a VSP member provider! Vision coverage is a free benefit for employees and families (supporting the physical health pillar of the Healthy Boiler Program), but it does have to be elected separately from the medical plan during open enrollment.

As a reminder, a WellVision Exam from a VSP provider is an important part of your eye health no matter your age! Your annual eye exam can be compared to your annual physical, but the focus is on your eyes. The exam can help ensure your vision is good and your eyes are healthy, too. And if needed, steps can be taken to assist with any eye-related concerns that might come up or that are already present. The Importance of an Eye Exam pdf explains why an exam is needed.

One eye issue that is seen more and more these days is eye strain. For example, those who work on computers – including many Purdue employees – tend to not only spend a lot of time on computers, as well as on tablets and smart phones for work reasons but in their free-time as well.

As part of your vision coverage, you may be eligible for a second pair of glasses to wear specifically while working on a computer. Computer glasses can be purchased only from a VSP member provider, and you should call ahead to your VSP doctor’s office to see if they require a form to be filled out ahead of your appointment. See “Should You Be Concerned About Blue Light Exposure?” for more information on how blue light impacts vision. Your copay for the computer glasses is $5. The frame allowance is $90.

Be sure to schedule your VSP eye exam soon to be sure you are doing the things you need to do to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

In the meantime, the American Optometric Association (AOA) offers five steps to help relieve digital eye strain at work. They are:

  1. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.

  2. Keep a distance. The AOA recommends sitting a comfortable distance from the computer monitor where you can easily read all text with your head and torso in an upright posture and your back supported by your chair. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 28 inches from the eye to the front surface of the screen.

  3. View from a different angle. Ideally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees, or about 4 to 5 inches, below eye level as measured from the center of the screen.

  4. Decrease glare. While there is no way to completely minimize glare from light sources, consider using a glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.

  5. Blink often. Minimize your chances of developing dry eyes when using a computer by making an effort to blink frequently.

To find a VSP doctor:

  • Call VSP Member Services at 800-877-7195.
  • Go to the VSP web site, click the “Find a Doctor” link at the top of the page, and you can search by location, doctor or office name.

More information

  • Visit the Benefits’ “Vision Coverage” web page for more information on your plan.
Any questions about VSP or your vision coverage through Purdue can be directed to Human Resources at 765-494-2222, toll free at 877-725-0222 or via email at hr@purdue.edu.