Optical News

beware online eye exams

What you need to know about these concerning new apps

Several popular online eyewear retailers have introduced online eye tests and mobile app-based tests. Think these are a good idea? Think again. Here are some things you need to know about the dangers of online eye exams.

Safety is a major issue

Patient safety is more of a concern to eye doctors than the threat to their bottom lines. While online retailers would have consumers believe that cost is the only difference between buying frames from them versus an optometrist, that’s simply not true.

Studies show that nearly half of all prescription glasses ordered online are inaccurate or failed to meet safety standards.

According to the AOA, a recent study found that nearly half of all glasses (44.8 percent) ordered online either contained an inaccurate prescription or didn’t meet safety standards designed to protect the eyes. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of the lenses failed impact resistance testing – a major safety issue. Children’s glasses performed even worse, with 29 percent failing impact testing.

Why online tests cannot replace doctors

What eye doctors know and patients may not is that an online eye test does not evaluate the health of your eyes. Some states already restrict mobile eye tests. In fact, online eye tests would more accurately be called “online vision tests,” since they usually only measure visual acuity and refractive error, notes the website AllAboutVision.com.

“Most people don’t understand that a vision test is only one piece of what happens in an eye exam,” Maryland optometrist Alan Glazier told Inc. magazine. “You could have glaucoma or diabetes, and only a doctor is going to check for that. [These apps] want to eliminate doctors from the process, and that’s horrible.”

An online eye test does not completely cover any one of the 12 components of a regular in-person, comprehensive eye exam.” – American Optometric Association

To learn more or to schedule your next eye exam, please call Regional Eye Center at 320-587-6308. We are located at 1455 Montreal Street, SE in Hutchinson, MN. Our business hours are:

Mon. & Thurs. 8:00am – 7:30pm
Tues. & Wed. 8:00am – 5:30pm
Fri. 8:00am – 4:00pm
Sat. 8:30am to Noon