According to the latest American Optometric Association (AOA) annual American Eye-Q® survey, when it comes to eye and vision care there are differing levels of knowledge and varying views amongst different generations.  The survey found that the traditionalist (or silent) generation (1925-1945), baby boomers (1946-1964) and generations X (1965-1977) and Y (1978-1994) all vary in their eye and vision knowledge and habits.

Even though these differences exits, most of those surveyed recognize that it is essential to maintain visual health through yearly, comprehensive eye exams.

The following are interesting points from the survey:

According to the survey, Gen Y-ers are the most diligent about following their doctor’s contact lens wear and care instructions, while baby boomers proved to be the greatest offenders, with 67 percent admitting to wearing lenses longer than recommended.

Gen Y respondents also scored the highest for appropriately storing their lenses, with almost half reporting they replace their contact lens case every one to three months, as directed. Again baby boomers have room for improvement – with just 28 percent saying they replace their case every one to three months.

As for glasses, the two younger generations, Generations X and Y, are twice as likely to consider glasses a fashion accessory compared to the traditionalists and boomers. This is most likely a result of the fashion eyeglass trend storming the market 20 years ago.

Americans of all ages are using technology more than ever for entertainment, work and general communication, and the toll these technologies are taking on the eyes is apparent according to the Eye-Q survey. More than half of all respondents report experiencing eye strain or vision problems as a result of using technology. Gen Y-ers report seeing the greatest impact, with more than two-thirds reporting technology-related eye or vision problems.

When it comes to knowledge about the visual consequences from diabetes and glaucoma, the traditionalists and baby boomers were more informed than generations X and Y. According to the survey, baby boomers and traditionalists are twice as aware that glaucoma can develop without early warning signs compared to generations X and Y. Likewise, baby boomers and traditionalists are more likely to correctly know that there aren’t any early warning signs or symptoms associated with diabetic eye disease.

Regardless of age, a yearly comprehensive eye exam from your eye doctor is essential in preserving your eye health and overall wellness.  The good news from the survey was that even though there are generational differences in eye and vision health and awareness, the majority of respondents report seeing an eye doctor within the last year.

The sixth annual American Eye-Q survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB). From May 19 to 23, 2011, using an online methodology, PSB interviewed 1,000 Americans 18 years and older who embodied a nationally representative sample of U.S. general population. Full results of the survey are posted on the AOA’s website.