You might have heard about online eye exams. Maybe you’ve even considered taking one so that you can skip the drive to your eye doctor’s office. That might not be the best idea, however, as an online test is not sufficient to take the place of a regular eye exam near you.
There are several places online that offer the opportunity to take an eye test from the comfort of your own home. These tests utilize a series of lines, shapes, and letters to assess your vision in as little as half an hour. You can even get your test results verified by an optometrist, who can then issue an eyeglass prescription. The problem with this seemingly convenient alternative is that online vision tests can only measure visual acuity and refractive error. Some tests can also branch out to test for vision issues like color blindness and light sensitivity. While all these are important components to how your eyes are functioning, online vision tests cannot assess your overall eye health. The only way to test for serious vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration is with a comprehensive eye exam from your optometrist.
Risk of self-examination
Undiagnosed vision problems If cataracts, macular degeneration, or glaucoma are present, an online eye exam will not be able to diagnose them. Leaving these conditions untreated can have serious consequences on the health and functioning of your eyes. Additionally, other health conditions, such as diabetes, can present symptoms that affect the eyes. An early warning sign for diabetes, for example, is blurred vision and if you test at home believing that it’s only a problem with your visual acuity, the condition will go undetected.
Incorrect prescription Even if verification by an optometrist is an option, the results that you receive might not necessarily be perfectly accurate. Without having an eye care professional present as you take the test, it’s hard to be sure that the test is being administered or taken properly. This could lead to inaccurate test results, which, in turn, could lead to receiving an incorrect prescription.
Cost If you have vision insurance, your eye exam is most likely covered. However, online tests usually are not covered, meaning that you’ll end up paying more for them.
If you’re curious about it, you can take an online eye exam for a general idea of that status of your vision. However, for a truly accurate assessment of your eye health, it’s best to leave it to our professionals at Prairie Eye Care in Winnipeg.