Regularly visiting your eye doctor for an exam is essential in preserving your vision and maintaining good eye health. If you are at high risk or certain vision conditions, you may need to get your eyes checked more frequently. Moreover, you should consult a professional immediately if you are experiencing sudden changes in your sight or extreme discomfort. In certain cases, you can talk to an eye specialist and have your eyes examined online.
Keep on reading to find out if online eye exams are any good.
What Is An Online Eye Exam?
You can have your eyes checked without leaving your house, thanks to online vision tests. Some eye care centers offer exams that you can take online through your computer or smartphone. An online eye exam can assess the sharpness of your vision. It can also check if you have astigmatism, light sensitivity or photophobia, and color blindness.
Healthy adults ages 18 to 39 are good candidates for online vision tests. You can take an online eye exam if you already have an eyeglass prescription and it is not that strong. Those who have already taken an eye exam and know their eyes are healthy can take the test as well. If you are not at risk for eye diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, then you are also a good candidate.
Online vision assessments are only useful in specific situations. For instance, if your glasses break or get lost during a trip and you need a prescription to purchase a new pair. While online eye exams are useful, they are not a replacement for your regular appointments with your eye doctor. During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will not only check your vision but also the health of your eyes. They can determine if you have a vision-threatening eye condition, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. If your eyes have an infection or injury, see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
What Happens During an Online Vision Exam?
An online vision test can involve numerous steps. First, you need access to a computer and a space to sit back so you can participate in parts of the test that assesses your distance vision. In some tests, you may need to use a smartphone for an app. You may need to wear your prescription eyeglasses or contacts during the exam.
Many websites offer tests to simply check your vision. The decision to see an eye doctor is up to you if the results say that you might have a problem. Some websites offer eyeglass and contact lens prescription. An eye doctor in your area will assess your results and send an email with your prescription. You can then order your glasses or contacts online.
Websites offering prescriptions may charge a fee, which many health insurance policies do not cover. Before taking the tests, see what is and is not included in your policy. It is a common misconception that you will save time and money with online eye exams. Keep in mind that you are only getting a small part of the services provided by an eye care professional during a complete exam.
Experts have varying opinions when it comes to online vision exams. It is because they have not been around long enough. Researchers have not looked into them well enough to know how they compare to a face-to-face eye exam with an eye doctor. Keep in mind that you must take the test correctly to get the most accurate results. These tests are not made for individuals who require a strong prescription for eyeglasses. Before taking the tests, make sure you know what it can and cannot tell you. It is still also important to see your eye doctor regularly.
What Are the Risks of Online Eye Exams?
An online eye exam is self-administered and comes with a number of risks. It will not be performed by a trained eye care professional. No one is there to assess the health of your eyes. As mentioned, an online eye exam can’t determine signs of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and other general health problems that a professional can detect during a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment of most of these eye conditions can help in preventing vision loss.
Another risk you need to be aware of is getting an incorrect prescription for eyeglasses and contacts. The results of your online exam will be reviewed by an eye care professional before the order is filled for your contact lenses or eyeglasses. However, there is no eye doctor when you are taking the test to ensure the process is done correctly. Failure to take online vision tests properly can result in poor vision while driving. You may also experience issues like eye strain and headaches while wearing your new glasses or contacts.
Why Is It Important to Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly?
Know If You Need Prescription Eyeglasses
A lot of people do not know their vision can get any clearer until they get their first pair of glasses. Around 11 million Americans who are over age 12 require vision correction, which is one of the top reasons you should get your eyes checked routinely.
Detect and Treat Eye Diseases Early
Regular eye exams also help in detecting eye diseases in their early stages and preserving your vision. Many eye conditions do not show signs until they are in their later stages. During the eye exam, your optometrist or ophthalmologist will test your visual acuity, depth perception, eye movement, and eye alignment. They will use eye drops that will make your pupils larger so they can see inside your eyes and look for indications of health problems. Aside from common eye problems, an eye care specialist may spot conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. They may even detect these issues before your primary care doctor does.
Maintain Good Eye Health
The older you get, the higher your risk of developing vision problems. People who are at high risk for glaucoma should get a dilated eye exam every two years. This includes African Americans who are 40 years and older, adults over the age of 60, and people with a family history of the eye disease.
Children need eye exams too to make sure they have healthy vision. Unfortunately, only around 39 percent of preschool children have had their eyes checked, which is necessary for eye disease diagnosis. The most common cause of vision loss in children is amblyopia, which is where the eyes and brain are not working together properly. This condition must be treated immediately to prevent vision loss.
Children should have their eyes checked by a professional at least once between age three and five years. During the examination, the eye doctor will be able to detect if the child has amblyopia or at risk of certain diseases.
When to See an Eye Doctor ASAP
Some eye problems would require you to seek medical help immediately. For instance, if you have decreased vision, eye redness, and pain, go to an eye doctor as soon as possible. It’s the same for double vision and the presence of floaters, flashes of light, and halos around lights.