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Online Eye Tests: Good or Bad ?

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The internet is exploding with information. It brings on opportunity, but there is also risk and danger.

An online eye exam is an automated and interactive vision test that claims to measure mainly visual acuity. It may seem like a convenient way to evaluate how you see or possibly get an eyeglass or contact lens prescription. These tests use your computer, tablet, or smartphone from the comfort of your home.

But these tests, — which should NOT be confused with telehealth visits — are performed by a computer program, not a professional eye care practitioner. They cannot and should not replace a comprehensive, in-person eye exam. 

Online eye tests, are superficial at best and may cause you to miss important, even life-saving, information about your eye health and vision.

What Do Online Eye Tests Evaluate? 

1. It is important to recognize that an online eye test does not evaluate the health of your eyes.

It's more of a sight test than an eye test. It is not even a vision test because it does not measure how your 2 eyes work together, how your eyes move, your peripheral vision, etc. It is designed as an attempt to measure your visual acuity and refractive error, and, in some cases, contrast sensitivity and color blindness.

The accuracy of the prescriptions provided by online vision tests is questionable. Providing the correct optical prescription requires more than just looking at numbers.
It requires a doctor's analysis, direct and open communication with the patient. The doctor listens to your visual needs and prescribes accordingly. A distance vision lens is different than a progressive lens, and different than a lens specifically for those that use computers extensively.

The right prescription needs subjective input and experienced analysis from an eye doctor — professional skills that can never be replicated accurately through an online program.

The technology offers presumed convenience, but may give misleading information. These tests may give a patient a false sense of security and contribute to a patient believing—incorrectly—that his or her eye health needs have been met. The online eye test measurements provide little-to-no information on the health of your eyes, and cannot determine whether you may have a sight-threatening condition such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other eye diseases. Nor do online exams address problems like dry eye, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, or functional vision problems — such as difficulty with eye teaming or convergence insufficiency.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Eye Exam

Optometrists undergo years of study and specialized training. They develop a comprehensive understanding of how to evaluate your eyes not only for sight, but for any underlying conditions. In fact, sight, vision and health are closely linked. Comprehensive eye exams enable Dr. Roth to detect signs of diseases that may affect your entire body, but which show early signs in your eyes. 

These include:

  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Strokes
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or a brain tumor

Is a Virtual Eye Exam Cost-Saving? 

Some people erroneously believe that an online eye test can save them not only time but also money, compared with a comprehensive eye exam performed by an optometrist. These virtual tests offer only a sliver of the services you would normally receive from your eye doctor during a thorough ocular exam.

A professional eye exam requires training, precision, and the proper equipment. Anything less puts your eyes, your vision, and even your life at serious risk.

Safeguard Your Eyes and Sight 

A comprehensive in-person eye exam is the only way to determine whether your eyes are healthy and free from sight-threatening conditions. Early detection and treatment of these problems can potentially prevent vision loss. Eye care practitioners frequently identify infection, chronic illness or eye disease during what patients would have expected to be a simple, routine ocular exam. These scenarios are far more common than we imagine.

To safeguard the health of your eyes and sight, have a comprehensive, in-person eye exam with Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ. Your health and visual well being may depend on it.

Family Eye Care in Old Bridge provides comprehensive eye exams using the most advanced equipment available. We also provide specialty care through Vision Therapy, Orthokeratology, Myopia Management, Specialty lenses due to problems after LASIK and for Keratoconus.

We serve Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Matawan, Marlboro, Manalapan, Monroe, Aberdeen, South Amboy, South River, and all of New Jersey.

Schedule an exam with us today. You can reach us at 1-732-679-2020.