Doctors, Patients Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye on Online Exams

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Doctors, Patients Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye on Online Exams

When it comes to The Future of Eye Exams being 20/20, as reported last week, some are not seeing the benefits of the online eye examinations as clearly.  Many doctors proactively argue against reliance on the popular online eye exams.

In a typical eye doctor setting, a patient is tested for a slew of various eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and pupil dilation responsiveness. These tests all contribute to better overall eye health and can detect issues early on that can be combated or even treated by an eye doctor.

Computers simply cannot perform these types of tests, and doctors discourage patients from relying on the online exams for this reason.

Skeptics are not so sure.  Some see the doctors’ claim against the online exams as just another way for them to line their pockets.

While the online exam may not be able to fully replace a trip to the eye doctor, that does not necessarily make them unreliable. Many if not most are accurate enough and, at the very least, allow users to postpone the trip until they can get a fresh set of contacts or a new set of frames.

While the additional tests cannot be performed at home—quite yet, many users noted that taking the online eye exam and then later visiting their eye doctor, yielded the same result.

Last week, this reporter put the online eye exam to the test using the exam offered through 1-800-CONTACTS by Opernative. Following the exam, a prescription was sent to an optometrist for evaluation, and then to the company’s lab for preparation of my contact prescription.

Another consideration in support of the online testing option is, at a time when healthcare can be tricky to obtain, these exams could come as a saving grace for those who are uninsured.

Regardless of which direction you choose to take your vision health, online eye exams should not completely replace an occasional trip to the optometrist, especially considering the additional testing doctors can do, which online eye exams cannot offer.

To learn more about online eye exams visit