For many people, the notion of being able to get an eyeglass prescription and buy glasses without a trip to the eye doctor sounds appealing. But is this really a good idea?
Here’s what you need to know about online eye “exams” and vision tests before thinking about saying goodbye to your eye doctor.
Online Eye Tests
First of all, it’s important to understand that an online eye test — even if it’s called an “online eye exam” — does not evaluate the health of your eyes.
Usually, an online eye test (more accurately, an “online vision test”) only measures your visual acuityand refractive error. In some cases, other vision tests, such as contrast sensitivity and color blindness, are included.
Even if you choose to try an online vision test, be aware that you should still have routine eye exams as frequently as your eye doctor recommends. A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to insure your eyes are healthy and free from sight-threatening conditions.
Online eye tests, however, do have value.
In some cases, an online vision test can help you monitor your eyesight and refractive error between routine eye exams. But be aware that though the results of some online eye tests have been validated with limited studies, this is still relatively new technology.
More research is needed to guarantee that the accuracy of an eyeglass or contact lens prescriptiongenerated by an online vision test is comparable to a prescription determined in person by your eye doctor.