Online Eye Exam or In-Person Eye Exam: Which is Best?

Eye doctor giving female patient an examination.

There is a trend growing in popularity: online eye exams. It sounds like a great time saver, especially for employees with jobs and family commitments who have little free time. So before making your next eye appointment, review these facts to determine which is best: an online eye exam or in-person eye exam?

Benefits of online eye exams

Online exams can save you time and money. And there are a few companies that offer them. All you need is a computer and a smartphone app. The exam uses software algorithms to evaluate your eyes, so it can be conducted at home.

An online eye exam identifies refraction needs, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Test results are evaluated by a licensed optometrist. Within 24 hours users receive an email with the results. If vision correction is needed, a prescription for eyeglasses or contacts is included.

Online eye exams may miss eye disorders or diseases

An online exam is a relatively fast and easy way to test your eyes for 20/20 vision. But online exams may not catch all refraction needs. It also does not check the health of your eyes.

Eye doctors recommend that if you get an online eye exam, you also schedule a comprehensive in-person eye exam. Your eye doctor will advise you on how often an in-person exam is needed.

Value of in-person eye exams

During your appointment, the eye doctor will check your refraction needs and check the healthiness of your eyes. Discover why vision benefits are so important for employees.

Changes in your refraction can be a sign of other eye conditions. The eye doctor will review your family health history and conduct several tests. Common tests may include dilation and retinal imaging, ultrasounds of the eye, and visual eye movement and analysis.

These tests help the eye doctor detect serious eye and health problems, such as diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. For example, in 2018, eye doctors reported diagnosing over 300,000 cases of diabetes during comprehensive eye exams. However, if conditions like diabetes are not detected early, they may develop into serious problems and lead to vision loss. So online eye exams may not be your best bet.

In addition to getting a comprehensive exam to keep your eyes healthy, make sure to protect your eyes from injury. Read this blog to learn more.

American Optometric Association
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