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App Based "Eye Exams"

Life gets busy. Something that has made life a lot easier for most of us is the advent of service-based apps right in the palm of our hands. Need a ride? Choose an app! Don’t feel like cooking? You can find anything you could possibly be craving via an app! In the past couple of years, new apps have surfaced touting the ability to test your vision “anywhere, anytime” without steping foot in a doctor’s office.  While this sounds like something that could make life easier, let’s take a minute to consider what an app like this could be missing.

For many of us, a routine eye exam never reveals more concern than a need for glasses or contact lenses, which is the group these apps are targeting. However, in a study by the University of Melbourne, the researchers found that the vision charts within apps were inaccurate in predicting a person’s vision 11.9-39.9% of the time! An inaccurate measure of vision would sure make it challenging to get an accurate contact lens or glasses prescription!

In addition, there is so much more being examined in a yearly eye exam than just your glasses prescription. When you come in for your comprehensive eye exam, it’s exactly that, comprehensive! The doctor is looking at the health of every part of your eye from your eyelashes to your optic nerve way in the back of the eye. This health exam is critically important and should not be ignored. There are many conditions that can be monitored or detected through these comprehensive eye exams, and in some cases, you may not even know you have an eye health concern unless diagnosed in an eye exam.  

While we all love the convenience an app can offer, vision should not be taken for granted! Yearly eye exams are important for anyone, not just those who wear contacts or glasses, to ensure optimal vision and eye health.   

By Alicia Alvarado, OD 

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