If there is one thing the COVID pandemic has shown us, it’s how many things we thought had to happen in person that can be accomplished at home. Online eye exams are one of those things.
How Does an Online Eye Exam Work?
Online eye exams vary slightly based on who you take them through. They can be taken with your computer or your smartphone. Some places even offer an app you can take the exam through.
Another thing is that some online eye exams only require you to have a phone or computer, but others necessitate using a hand-held miniscope.
The exam’s components themselves should be familiar to anyone who’s experienced an appointment at the optometrist in that you’ll be asked to read letters and distinguish which are blurry. However, they are not comprehensive eye exams. (aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/self-home-vision-test-order-glasses)
After you submit your test, it will be reviewed by an optometry professional who will then send you your results.
What Are the Benefits of Online Exams?
Choosing to do an online eye exam appeals to a number of people because it saves time, fits conveniently into your schedule, and is cheaper than a traditional eye exam.
Some may even prefer it during the pandemic since it lowers their risk of getting COVID due to not having to be around multiple people in an office.
There is the downside of not having an optometrist with you during the exam to answer any questions you may have, though.
Who’s Best Suited to Online Eye Exams?
Online eye exams fit into some individual’s eye care needs better than others. You should only take one if you:
- Are a healthy adult under 40
- Have had a comprehensive exam before
- Looking to get glasses if you need a new prescription
- Have a mild to moderate prescription
- Are not at risk for eye diseases
If you don’t fit into these categories, schedule an in-person eye exam instead.
Why Not Get Contacts from an Online Exam?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you don’t order contact lenses from an online eye exam. Why? Because contacts are trickier to get right than glasses and need to be fitted to the patient’s eyes by a professional. Failure to do so could mean poorly-fitted contacts, and that could lead to irritation or even a corneal infection (aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/self-home-vision-test-order-glasses).
What Still Needs an In-Person Eye Appointment?
If you can’t decide if you want to take your eye exam online or in-person, here are some things not covered by an online exam.
- Checking for eye diseases
- Adequate measures for unusual or strong prescriptions
- Contact fittings
- A comprehensive exam
There You Have It
That’s online eye exams in a nutshell. Whether you decide to do an eye exam online or in-person is up to you, but it’s important to know the facts about them so you can make the right decision for your eye care and personal situation.