4 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Online Eye Tests
Have you been feeling like your vision isn’t what it used to be? If so, you may be drawn to take an online eye test. After all, using an online tool to assess your vision is easier and more convenient than visiting your eye doctor. Most online eye exams are free to use, and they don’t require you to leave the comfort of your home. Where’s the downside?
Unfortunately, there are many downsides to this type of eye test. Here are just a few reasons that you shouldn’t count on these software programs to assess your eye health.
An online eye test isn’t performed by an expert
It’s one thing to schedule a telehealth visit with your optometrist—something that has become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic. These visits may involve an eye test, but while that exam would technically be an online eye test, it would also be administered by an expert who knows your medical and vision history. It’s quite another to trust an online eye test—a vision examination conducted not by your eye doctor, but by a computer program. While it’s true that computer programs get more sophisticated every year, they still cannot offer the kind of educated, personalized service that a true healthcare professional can.
An online eye test is not a true eye test
A computer program isn’t capable of performing a truly comprehensive examination of your vision and eye health. Instead, online eye tests are only vision tests. They attempt to measure the quality of your vision, and can sometimes tell you a thing or two about your visual acuity, refractive error, color perception, or contrast sensitivity. Through these measures, an online eye test can theoretically estimate a prescription for glasses or contacts. However, it’s important to realize that the software conducting your online “eye test” cannot see your eyes or assess any underlying condition that may cause you to lose vision. Only a true eye doctor can diagnose an eye condition such as glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration.
The short version? Online eye tests can, at best, assess your vision and give you an idea of whether you might need glasses. It is more like a screening test. In-person eye exams with an eye doctor take a more comprehensive view of your eye health, thereby playing a crucial role in preserving eye health and preventing disease.
An online eye test can’t look beyond eye health.
The primary reason to go to the eye doctor for an eye exam is to get an assessment of your eye and vision health. However, did you know that the first signs of some serious diseases or medical conditions often show in your eyes? Eye doctors are sometimes the first ones to spot indicators of hypertension, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more. If you rely on a computer program for your vision tests—or if you don’t visit the eye doctor very often for some other reason—you may overlook early signs of these serious medical concerns.
An online eye test can’t help you find the right glasses or contact lenses.
At most, an online eye test can give you a range for what reading glasses prescription you should be using. If you are buying contact lenses or glasses, though, you want to be sure that you are choosing something that will help you. Working with a true professional will give you a more reliable, accurate prescription. You’ll also have access to more options. For instance, at Miami Contact Lens Institute, we often fit patients for specialty contact lenses—something that you might never even know about if you only get online eye exams.
The bottom line is that online eye exams are limited, questionably accurate tools that cannot consider your medical history or effectively assess the health of your eyes. Sitting down with a true eye doctor and having them take a close look at your eyes will always provide better results. Contact Miami Contact Lens Institute today to schedule a real eye exam.