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Online Eye Exam

Get a new eyeglasses prescription online without visiting a doctor 

Do you need a glasses prescription without the hassle or expense of going to a doctor? Then you are like millions - even billions - of people in the world. And guess what? Soon you will be able to do just that. Online eye exams are coming. There are more than six companies racing to develop FDA approved and CE approved online applications that will produce an eyeglasses prescription for you. Unfortunately this will not work for contact lens prescriptions, because for contact lenses you need an in-person exam by a doctor. This is a rapidly evolving technology, and it will be available outside of the US before the US FDA gives its approval. This article will tell you everything you need to know.

Do you Require a Prescription?

If you want prescription lenses, you require a prescription. Do you need prescription lenses? Well, that depends. If you are having difficulty seeing objects or reading, then eyeglasses will improve your lifestyle, and also possibly your productivity in your job. Online eye exams will make prescriptions much more available to people that have been putting off going to the doctor.

If you think you have an eye problem, online vision testing should not be your first stop.  Vision loss is serious and an online vision screening will not be sufficient for you.  You need the monitoring devices that comprehensive eye exams offer.

How do you know if you need glasses?

Your eyesight will decrease as you age. It doesn’t matter whether you need more light so you can discern certain objects, or whether you feel as though certain gradients are starting to blend into each other because some change is probably going to happen. That being said, not every alteration is going to mean that you need glasses. It may however, mean that you should think about taking an online eye exam. If you aren’t sure if you need prescription glasses or not, then below are some of the top red flags that you should be looking out for:

·        Objects losing their shape

·        The edges of items becoming fuzzy

·        Double vision or blurring

·        Eye fatigue

·        Headaches

·        Driving poorly at night

·        Squinting to see

Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive and the degree of change before you need to seek glasses will vary from person to person. If your change in eyesight is causing you a form of distress, then now is the time for you to find out if you need to be getting a prescription. If you want to find out if you can get a prescription from home, or if you want to take an online eye exam, take a look below.

Your vision will change over time

It’s a given that your eyes change over time. You may have gone through most of your life with perfect vision, but unfortunately, this isn’t guaranteed to last forever. If you have noticed that you have vision problems because your vision isn’t quite as good as it once was, then now may be about time for you to look into getting some new glasses. That being said, it is not always easy for you to get a prescription. A lot of people are now looking into alternative options and some of them could mean that you can skip out on eye consultations and visiting your doctor. If you want to find out more about this, then take a look below to find out more.

FDA Approval and CE Approval

The United States FDA is in the process of approving these applications for a virtual vision test now. In Europe, some applications have received approval, and others are in the process. For both systems, the testing involves comparing prescriptions from online eye exams to prescription made by a doctor. If the result is close to the doctor's exam, the FDA will confirm that online eye exams and online vision tests work. Some services are available now and may require a reviewing eye care provider, and none of them substitute for a comprehensive eye health examination.

Support From Doctors

Surprisingly, American Optometric Association doctors are mostly in support of this effort.  They believe that it will help people that are not seeing a doctor now, and it will bring more people in for eye exams that have serious eye conditions.

New prescription online, vision tests, prescription renewal, prescription scanner - what do these all mean?

There are many websites that offer a variety of services, that all do something slightly different. But all these services require a test using a computer screen.

New Prescription Online:

Just like it sounds, you get a new prescription online. This is not currently approved by the FDA in any form. In some European countries, it is available IF a real doctor can look it over.  It does not replace a routine eye exam, but does produce a valid prescription that can be used to make corrective lenses.  It remains to be seen if these will be a free eye exam or not.

Vision Test

This test simply tells you if you have perfect vision. If not, it will tell you that you would benefit from some kind of vision care, vision correction or corrective eyewear.

Prescription renewal

This is mostly for contact lenses wearers, who need to refill their prescription to get a renewed prescription. In the United States, this is required in order to buy contact lenses. You use your existing prescription and get it renewed. This can only be done with a valid prescription. Online prescription renewal is currently available in the US for contact lens prescription. Contact lens prescription renewals are common, but do not take the place of a comprehensive eye exam. A current prescription is required, and this is not an eye health examination.

Prescription scanner

This is a tool that will look at your eyeglass lenses to determine what prescription is in those lenses.

How do you Get a Prescription?

There are two ways that you can get an eye prescription. The traditional route would be for you to undergo a comprehensive in person eye exam, so that the doctor can develop an ocular health profile and this is still required if you need contact lenses. In some instances, you can undergo an online eye exam, or you can take an online vision test. Online vision tests are now so advanced, that they are just as accurate as a standard vision test from your optometrist.

Online eye tests determine a patient's visual acuity in a remote ophthalmic assessment using contrast sensitivity and contrast vision, which is determined by asking you a series of questions as you move through the online test. The prescription online is currently reviewed by a board certified ophthalmologist, but in the future that may not be necessary. The online tests will not require an in person eye exam, or a prior prescription. Your prescription online will include a distance vision test and will result in an eyeglass prescription but not a contacts prescription. Contact lens prescription will still require a board certified ophthalmologist or a board certified optometrist or other registered eye care professional using specialized equipment to get the appropriate diagnostic value, which will prohibit patients frame getting imperfectly sized contact lenses.

Will online eye exams replace a doctor's visit?

Online exams are evolving, and do not take the place of a visit to an eye doctor. Online eye exams are a good way to determine IF you need vision correction, and to get a prescription for eyewear. As the technology develops, online eye exams may be able to detect eye disease and conditions, and may be able to warn you to see a doctor.  At the moment, however, only eye doctors will be able to diagnose serious problems.

What is a comprehensive eye exam?

When undergoing a comprehensive eye health exam, an optometrist will want to give your eyes a check-over for visual acuity. The vision test that they will do will vary, from eye chart readings to very complex examinations. They will also try and map out the structure of your eye by using a very high-powered lens. The duration can vary here, and most of the time it will depend on the tests that have been done already. The test can take an hour or more to complete as well but at the end of the day, this is one of the most thorough methods that you can use to try and get the prescription you need. You can take an online vision test if you want, and this will usually be shorter. That being said, visiting an eye doctor is usually required if you get poor results from your online vision test.

Free A Medical Professional Conducting Vision Test

The other avenue that you can explore if you want to get a prescription would be for you to get your eyes checked by an in-store eye doctor. They will usually do a 10-minute evaluation of your vision and they will also have the results you need. They then send them to the doctor who can get you a prescription. Again, taking online vision tests is a solution here, if you do not want to leave your home to get a comprehensive eye exam. Online vision tests are very accurate and they are a great way to assess your eye health.

Getting a Prescription without a Doctor- Is it Possible?

If your eyes seem to be losing their efficacy, then you may be wondering if it is possible for you to get a prescription without having to visit an eye doctor for a comprehensive exam at all. Right now, the answer is no, as you can only receive a prescription if you speak with a doctor. An online exam will not replace your annual eye exam, and will not be able to detect an eye condition lik color blindness, macular degeneration, refractive error, etc.That being said, that doesn’t mean that you have to be physically present. Now online vision test data is so accurate that you can find out whatever you need without having to leave the house. When you take an online vision test, you may need to talk with your eye doctor after to discuss the results and your medical history, but other than that, you should be able to get a comprehensive idea of your general eye health.

The Potential of Telemedicine and the Online Eye Exam

One of the advancements that has been made would be Telehealth. You can also deal with your medical evaluation through your very own online portal. By using your smartphone or your computer device, you will soon find that your eye doctor can do a consultation and you don’t have to leave your home. The great thing about online vision tests is that they are fast, easy and convenient. You don't need to be physically present with an eye doctor to get your vision test done, and a lot of free online vision test providers will take into account your medical history too.

The Future of Prescription Glasses and Eyesight Checks

If you want to find out what developments have happened to try and support those who need glasses or if you are interested to see if there is anything you can do to try and get eye medicine or a vision test without visiting your doctor, then all you have to do is take a look below.

Visibly Digital Acuity Product

Visibly is a company that has received 501(k) clearance from the FDA so they can launch their self-administered and on-demand online vision test. The Visibly digital acuity product gives consumers the chance to check their vision online with ease. The device is going to be the first FDA-approved vision test on the market. You will use a touchscreen mobile device and a computer which will be connected to the internet. In the test, the company have set certain restrictions in terms of its use. Right now, it is only limited to those who are aged between 22 and 40. For now, the company have had to state that it only offers supportive recommendations and that it is not a substitute for visiting a licensed eye doctor. That being said, as things change, it may be that the technology advances further, to the point where this is no longer the case. They are always improving their online vision test, while ensuring that your results match that of an eye doctor exam.

So how do you take this test?  You will need to make sure that you have around 10 feet of space, a mobile device or tablet and a prescription for the correction you have right now. The company have come out to say that it is most suited to those who have not experienced any vision changes or those who have completed an eye exam and want to get their prescription renewed. The test only takes six minutes to complete, and the company pride themselves on being able to complete 90% of their prescriptions within 24 hours. You will have your results reviewed by a doctor in the same state and if your vision has changed according to the prescription you have now, then the company will not renew it. This is similar to an online vision test, and it is suited to those who have prior corrective eyewear prescriptions.

When you take this vision test, they will give you the advice you need to make an appointment with your doctor. Visibly managed to secure their 501(k) clearance after they ran a big clinical study. They evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the system that they created against the ETDRS Visual Acuity Lane test. The main thing to note about this trial is that the company found that the online eye test that they provide is equivalent to the standard eye test that you can take by visiting your doctor. This alone makes it one of the best online vision tests available right now.

Free Man in White Holding a Pen Sitting Near a Medical Equipment Stock Photo,

Spectacle Scanners

If you have single vision lenses, and want to find out what your prescription is, you can use a "spectacle scanner' tool. This will only work with eyeglass lenses, not for contact lenses.

If you have a basic prescription, meaning that you do not have progressives, bifocals, or even coke-bottle lenses, you will soon find that there will soon be many tools available. They give you the chance to scan your glasses, with the results being in line with the standard deviation of your doctor’s office. If you want a quick and easy way to find out what lenses you have right now so you can file a new prescription, then this is certainly a very good way for you to do that. Simply grab the glasses you have now and take a credit card.

This is a bit different to getting an online eye test done, but it is a great way to ensure that your vision is not declining. If you are struggling with your eyesight, it's always wise to take an online vision test, before visiting your eye doctor. An online vision test, or online vision exam, is the best way for you to evaluate your eye health in general.

Envision AI Glasses without an Eye Doctor Prescription

What is particularly notable about the AI-powered glasses that are out there right now is the fact that they are designed for those who have a profound level of sight loss. This is because the glasses convey what is happening around the wearer via speech output. Of course, when it comes to reading text, it is important to know that the glasses are able to surpass Microsoft’s app known as Seeing AI. The device can also provide descriptions of an audio scene, including the fact that a tree or even a park bench is present. What’s more, is that the glasses have completely revolutionized the practice of someone who is blind receiving guidance from someone else. This is all done through the Ally app. The system gives nominated friends or even family the chance to view what the glasses or the camera is pointing at. In other words, family can give assistance across various continents if this is required. This is great if you have someone in your family who has poor results from their online vision test, and who requires a great deal of help with their general eyesight.

EyeNetra and their Online Vision Test

As smartphones and various other gadgets evolve at breakneck speed. It truly is only a matter of time before devices are used for ophthalmology. Patients can be at the focus of the point-of-care and now there are palm-sized devices that can be used with a connective smartphone. This can be used to conduct various eye exams for people just about anywhere in the world. EyeNetra have focused on creating a diagnostic online vision solution that helps to signal any refractive issues accurately and quickly.  The app is able to work out the alignment of patterns and what the user indicates as being aligned. Any errors on the test happen to be signaled within the app, and this can include tests for near-sightedness and farsightedness. You also have astigmatism as well. The app is able to calculate the general refractive power and the pupil distance that is required for a prescription. The company’s main hope is to try and make sure that school eye examinations are easier and that workplace eye tests are made easier.

Peek Retina- a Portable Ophthalmoscope

Peek Retina is another leading product. This comes from Peek Vision, and it is a portable ophthalmoscope. This allows you to take pictures using your phone from any location you want. This kind of innovation has made it easier than ever for people to take smartphone-based eye tests and this happens to include visual acuity. This kind of tech is designed to benefit those who live in poor areas or those who live remotely. The worry of someone not being able to access care because they do not live in the area is now a thing of the past.

Tech is Replacing the Traditional Comprehensive Eye Health Exam

So, it is truly not hard to see how far tech has come and it is remarkable to see what changes have been made over time. With new tech coming out by the year, it would not be surprising at all to see new products launched onto the market. This is going to make a huge difference to the world as we know it and it is going to help revolutionize prescription eye care in the US. Of course, in the US, it is very difficult for people to get a prescription for glasses without visiting their local doctor but thanks to this new tech, it could soon be possible for people to get the prescription they need without having to leave the house. Right now, there are companies out there who can help you to get a repeat prescription if you need it, for your glasses and this is great. As new tech arises, there are hopes that this will be the case for those who do not currently have glasses but suspect that they need them. This would be a step up from the online help that is available right now, where although you can take tests online, you still need to go to your doctor to get the prescription you need. Telemedicine has kickstarted a lot of this movement to say the least, but now it looks like things are steamrolling and that new tech and advancements are going to be hitting the market less than a year from now, pending FDA approval of course.

Author of this article: 

Mark Agnew, AuthorMark Agnew
CEO of Eyeglasses.com, which he founded in 1999.  For over twenty years, he has educated consumers, improved their vision choices, and reduced costs in eyewear.  Mark authored The Eyeglasses Buying Guide, the most comprehensive and best-selling glasses buying guide in the world.

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