There is an increase of services offering online eye exams or vision tests. More and more optical companies are marketing these tests as a way to save you a trip to the optometrist. But do online eye tests actually work? Can they replace your annual visit to an optometrist?
An online vision test, also known as a refraction test measures a patient’s prescription for eyeglasses or contacts. One of our doctors, Dr. Judy Walrath, OD explains,
“Online vision tests should not replace a comprehensive eye exam with your doctor. Vision tests online are simply a test. They are not diagnostic and they do not examine the health of the eyes. “
While testing your vision for glasses is important, it’s a fairly small part of an overall comprehensive eye exam and very little impact on assessing the overall health of the eye.
While refraction tests can be somewhat accurate in testing for prescription, missing out on the health portion is our doctors’ biggest concern. “There are many factors that affect vision that can’t be tests purely by a vision test.” Dr. Walrath explains. These vision tests can’t examine the effect current medications have on your vision, your vascular health, or whether you are at risk for certain diseases like diabetes or glaucoma, etc.
“As doctors, it is our job to not only get patients seeing well in an affordable stylish pair or glasses or in contacts, but to also to make sure our patients maintain good vision by monitoring the health of the whole visual system.” – Dr. Judy Walrath, OD
Online glasses prescriptions can’t be customized. If you want a pair of lenses specifically for the computer, for example, online eye exams can’t do that for you. We can have you measure the distance to your computer based on your needs and customize a script for you.
Our skilled and trained professionals take prescriptions and are able to make adjustments when necessary. Online tests aren’t able to make those judgement calls and consider how conditions like eye turn or astigmatism into can affect the fit and prescription.
We also offer a wide variety of custom lenses to best suit your lifestyle. Whether you need extra anti-reflective lens for work, or Transition lenses that adjust to your environment, Dr. Tavel is ready to help you find the perfect pair of glasses that fit you.
If you see a perfect 20/20, that’s fantastic! However, that doesn’t mean you are immune to eye problems or diseases. It’s the same principle for annual health physicals. You may feel great, but only bloodwork and examination can reveal other underlying issues. It’s not worth risking vision loss to avoid a quick assessment of eye health and functioning every couple of years. Some diseases like glaucoma don’t show noticeable symptoms right away and can lead to vision loss if not treated early enough.
“We can diagnose eye issues like glaucoma, macular degeneration, but we can also discover swelling of the optic nerve indicative of possible neurological issues, bleeding from high blood pressure or diabetes.” – Dr. Judy Walrath, OD
Until online eye exams can incorporate a health evaluation, our optometrists would not recommend them. “You can’t send a picture of your teeth to app and expect it to fix your cavity.” Dr. Walrath says.
With 22 locations across Indiana with convenient weekday and weekend hours, our goal is to help Hooisers see better, look better and feel better. All of our locations accept walk-ins, so if you break or lose your glasses our team is ready to help! Need a quick adjustment or your frames tightened up? We offer fit adjustments free of charge.
You can schedule your next visit easily online at drtavel.com. See you soon!