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Online Eye Tests


What is an online eye test?

Online eye test is an attempt to replace one element of an eye examination called refraction, in order to generate a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. A refraction determines the lens power you need to fix any refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism), as well as the curvature of the eye to prescribe glasses or contact lenses.

Unlike taking a blood pressure test and expecting a prescription, the online eye test reading does not provide sufficient information that a person might need to undergo therapy.

How accurate are online eye tests?

Online vision tests are not too reliable and often give inaccurate or misleading information which can delay essential, sight-saving treatment. One of the most important, preventive ways to preserve vision and accurately assess eye health is through Comprehensive eye exams with your doctor of optometry. It can help early diagnose an eye disorder or disease, and determine the need for corrective lenses.

Importance of comprehensive eye examination by a doctor of optometry & Why You should get one?

Personalized comprehensive eye examinations by a doctor of optometry are an important part of general preventive health care. A number of underlying eye diseases or systemic conditions can lead to changes in refractive status. There are records where many systemic diseases are detected through comprehensive eye exams. In fact, 240,000 cases of diabetes were first detected by an eye doctor in 2014.

What tests are performed during an in-person comprehensive eye exam?

Skipping visits to an eye care professional can leave serious conditions undiagnosed for long time and thus lessens the chances for identifying an effective treatment. This could lead to irreversible vision loss or worsening of a systemic disease. That is why a comprehensive adult eye and vision examination may include, but is not limited to, the following tests:

Patient and family health history, visual acuity measurement, preliminary tests, refractive status, eye health examination and dilation and additional tests as needed that may include digital retinal imaging tests, ultrasounds of the eye and automated visual field technology may also be used to detect and diagnose serious eye and health problems. Talk to us for more information about comprehensive eye exams.

Is use of online vision testing apps recommended by Alabama Family Optometry (AFO)?

Any technology that helps patient will always be supported by AFO and other doctors of optometry. We believe that medical technology can be a powerful tool when used properly by a licensed professional.

But there stands a growing concern over the claims that a vision screening conducted through an app can replace an in-person, comprehensive eye exam. Eye exams not only uncover vision issues but also a multitude of health problems like diabetes, whereas tele medicine cannot be held to the same standards as an in-person visit.

Here’s What AOA have to say about it:

"The AOA's primary concern is that patient health and safety is at risk due to lack of understanding as to what services an online vision test company actually offers and can deliver to consumers," said Dr. Steven A. Loomis, O.D., AOA president. "When a patient comes in to the office for an examination we do so much more than just update a prescription for glasses or contacts. Our tests are specialized for the needs of each individual and allow us to check the overall health of our patients. By analyzing images of the back of the eye, for example, we can see how a patient's blood vessels are functioning which can signify serious conditions like hypertension that often go undetected. The eyes are the window to your well-being and their care cannot be left to a computer and a smart phone."

The AOA has voiced its health and safety concerns to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting legal action against an online vision test being marketed by Opternative, Inc. without the type of testing and pre-market approvals frequently required of new medical device technology. In a detailed complaint submitted to the FDA in April, the AOA challenges claims made by Opternative about its product's capabilities, and calls for enforcement action to remove it from the market until it can be shown to meet all appropriate Federal requirements for medical devices under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, including those for safety and effectiveness, as determined by Federal officials.

Are online vision screening test available in all states?

Ten states have enacted critical patient protection safeguards that reinforce the benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations. These states includes South Carolina,Alabama,Georgia,Indiana, Maine,Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio and West Virginia.

Patients who've been harmed or received erroneous prescriptions from an online vision test are urged to file a claim/report with FDA Med, Watch Here