Skip to main content

Home » eye doctor » Why Your Eye Doctor Cannot Be Replaced By An Online Eye Test

Why Your Eye Doctor Cannot Be Replaced By An Online Eye Test

eye doctors in raleigh ncFor many individuals, having the ability to purchase glasses and get their eyeglass prescription without having to visit an eye doctor sounds like an appealing concept.  However, is it a good idea?

The following is all the information you need about online vision tests and eye exams before you decide to tell your eye doctor goodbye.

Online Eye Tests

The first thing that is important for you to understand is that online eye tests - even when they are referred to as "online eye exams" - do not evaluate your eyes' health.

Normally, online eye tests (which are more accurately described as "online vision tests") just measure your refractive error and visual acuity.  In some cases, it might include other vision tests, like color blindness and contrast sensitivity.

However, those measures do not tell you much about your eyes' health or whether or not you have any conditions like macular degeneration, glaucoma, or cataracts.

Even if you decide to try an online vision test out, make sure you understand that you should still get routine eye exams done as frequently as are recommended by your eye doctor at Fusion Eye Care.  The only way of ensuring that your eyes are free of sight-threatening conditions and are healthy is to have a comprehensive eye exam.

However, online eye tests do have some value.

For example, taking an online vision test allows you to get a valid eyeglass prescription quickly in order to replace your glasses that you might have misplaced or accidentally broken.  That can be very handy if you lose or break your eyewear while you are on vacation or are unable to schedule an appointment for some other reason with your eye doctor.

In some situation, an online vision test can also help you monitor your refractive error and eyesight in between your regular eye exams.  However, you need to be aware that although some limited studies have validated some online eye test results, it is a fairly new technology still.

More research is necessary to guarantee the accuracy of a contact lens or eyeglass prescription that are generated by online vision tests are comparable with prescriptions that are determined by your eye doctor in person.


Opternative is an online eye company that was first established in 2012.  It is currently in the middle of this controversy surrounding online vision tests.

To get an Opternative online eye exam started, you measure a credit card to get the test calibrated on your computer screen.

Then you are shown several tests in order to determine your astigmatism, farsightedness and/or nearsightedness.

The Opternative online eye exam only takes about 25 minutes and you are provided with a prescription for a contact lens or glasses prescription for $40 (or for $60 both prescriptions).  The company reports that your prescription is delivered within 24 hours via e-mail.

Although Opternative doesn't sell contact lenses or eyeglasses, the prescription(s) will allow you to purchase new contact lenses or glasses online.

It is also claimed by Opternative that a clinical study showed that its online eye exam was just as accurate as the traditional refraction exam that an ophthalmologist or optometrist performs using a phoropter.

There are certain limitations that apply when it comes to an acceptable candidate to take the Opternative online eye test.  As an example, the company states that its technology is well-suited and intended only for individuals in good health who are between 18 and 40 years old.

Here at Fusion Eye Care, our Raleigh eye doctors don't recommend online eye exams as the risks just don't outweigh the benefits. Instead, we recommend you schedule an eye exam with Dr. Bassiri by calling us at (919) 977-7480.