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Online Eye Exams: Time Saver or Waste of Time?
WHAT: Online eye tests sound like a quick and easy option for busy people (and who isn’t these days?). But can an online eye test substitute for a comprehensive eye exam by a qualified eye care professional? The short answer is...no.
WHY: “Online eye tests might sound tempting, but they don’t yet compare to a proper eye exam,” says Sandy T. Feldman, Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center in San Diego. “There are a number of eye conditions can only be detected through an in-person exam.”
Here’s what you need to know about online eye exams:
Online eye tests can’t do everything: Online eye tests measure only the sharpness of your vision and the degree to which you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have an astigmatism. If you are between 18 and 39 with healthy eyes and a non-severe prescription, you might be able to use an online eye test to determine which glasses prescription is best for you. However, online eye tests are pretty limited in this respect - they can’t provide high-power or irregular glasses prescriptions or measure the curvature of the cornea, necessary for contact lens wearers.
In-person eye exams offer insights into overall health: An in-person eye exam allows an eye doctor to check eye alignment, eye movement and muscle function, the surface of the eyes and the lens, retina and optic nerve. These tests can help detect early signs of many eye diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration. Online eye tests may be helpful as screening tools but do not give a complete picture of the health of your eyes.
Cheaper isn’t always better: In the short run, online eye tests may be less expensive, but people who skip regular exams may be putting their vision at risk. Most online eye tests aren’t covered by vision insurance and anyone who purchases glasses with the wrong online prescription won’t be able to get the glasses checked as a part of their eye exam if you are having issues..
“Bottom line, online exams just are not yet intended to replace comprehensive eye examinations,” says Dr. Feldman. “You can’t put a price on clear vision and good eye health. Don’t risk losing either one merely to save some time and money.” But don’t rule out that the field is rapidly evolving and online and consumer products will play a larger role in the future!
WHO: Dr. Sandy Feldman, one of the nation’s top ophthalmologists and LASIK experts.
CONTACT: I can arrange an interview with Dr. Feldman to discuss online eye exams or any other eye-related topic. Contact Diana Soltesz at [email protected] or 818-618-5634.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Sandy T. Feldman MD is the Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center and a world-renowned corneal expert who has successfully performed more than 20,000 refractive procedures. Clearview has been voted Best LASIK center by the San Diego Union Tribune (five times) and by CityBeat Magazine (three times). Dr. Feldman’s many awards include Top Doc San Diego; the Goldline Award, an honor granted to the top 10 laser eye care specialists in the U.S.; and the Silver Elite RealSelf Award. She has also been profiled in publications such as Forbes and Newsweek and makes frequent appearances as an expert commentator on TV talk shows and news programs. Dr. Feldman is a fellow of the prestigious American College of Ophthalmic Surgeons, as well as a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. More details at clearvieweyes.com.
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