Life gets busy sometimes and it is hard to find time to go in for your yearly check-ups. So, an easy and quick online eye exam sounds tempting, especially for those of us who have a hard time fitting these appointments into our schedules. But beware, because though these online tests may refill your prescriptions, they aren’t a substitute for an in-person eye exam. I will talk a little bit about why you really need to take the time to come in for your yearly eye exam.
Let’s first talk about what these online tests do. They will measure your visual acuity (how well you can see) and check to see if you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism to determine your glasses prescription. But since there isn’t a human who has medical training actually doing these tests or checking the validity the prescription may not be accurate. Also, checking the glasses prescription is only one part of the comprehensive eye exam.
Now I want to go over what these online eye exams DON’T do. Let’s say this online eye exam determines that you see 20/20, perfect vision, and don’t need glasses. Well, just because vision is 20/20 does not mean there are no problems with your eyes. You may still have an eye disease even without symptoms. These online tests do not check your complete visual health and health of the eye itself. With a comprehensive eye exam, we examine much more than just how well you can see. We check for depth perception, proper eye movement, eye pressure, and examine the outside and inside of the eye for early signs of eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, tumors, and high blood pressure. All of these diseases threaten your eyes and your vision if not caught early. Many of these conditions develop gradually without any symptoms which is why it is important to have it checked yearly to prevent something from developing into a serious problem. Another smaller issue, if the prescription they provide isn’t accurate it can cause eye strain, headaches, and difficulty seeing.
Another thing to consider is that these online tests won’t save you any money typically. Most eye exams are covered by insurance. There is really no comparison between online tests and a comprehensive in person exam done by a medical professional. I hope this gave you more information and will help you make the right decision for your eyes!