Convenience. In our busy lives we’re all looking for ways to make things easier, so it’s no surprise that online eye exams have gained popularity recently. But there are a few things you should consider before you think about skipping the eye doctor’s office:
While your only reason for an eye exam may be to get new glasses or contacts, when we see you in the office we are also checking the health of your eyes. This may seem unnecessary if you feel like you’re not having any pain or other symptoms, but many devastating eye diseases are completely symptomless until irreversible damage has been done.
One such disease is glaucoma, which is a condition that damages your side vision. With early detection and proper treatment, we have very high success of maintaining patients’ vision, but without regular screening for this disease there would be no way for you to know you have it until permanent damage is done. We monitor every patient for early warning signs of glaucoma and proceed with more advanced testing if any red flags are present.
Contact Lens Complications
There are very serious complications that can arise from improper contact lens fit, sleeping in your contact lenses, or wearing them longer than prescribed and these can only be detected in the office. Some online exams request access to your computer’s camera so they can see if your eyes are red, irritated, or have any other apparent issues. However, it is impossible without the microscope we use in the office to assess the health of your eyes related to contact lenses.
What sort of things are we looking for?
- Lack of oxygen – when you overwear your contact lenses it deprives your eyes of oxygen which can lead to permanent vision and eye health issues as well as the inability to wear contact lenses in the future.
- Certain health issues including autoimmune conditions, thyroid disorders, and diabetes can cause changes to your eyes that require a change to your contact lenses to maintain your eye health and comfort.
There are a lot better ways to save some time in your busy schedule than skipping your comprehensive eye exam for an online version. The FDA agrees with this thought as shown by its recent recall of the internet’s largest online vision test due to public health concerns. More are sure to follow. Your eye health is important and the doctors at Columbia Eye Consultants Optometry want to help you preserve it.