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Have you browsed your App Store recently? The options are mind boggling. They range from having hours of fun with Solitaire to giving yourself an eye exam and everything you can possibly imagine in-between. Some eye exam apps are quite in-depth and require a smartphone as well as a computer or tablet device. These apps also require you to send information to a doctor for a fee, which is not typically covered by insurance. Sound like a good idea so far?
A couple of us decided to put two free apps to the test.
- 60% vision right eye, 69% vision left eye
- Potential optic nerve disease in left eye
- No astigmatism in left eye
- Pass or fail, this app gave few details
- The app results are a little puzzling as they don’t equate to typical measurements. The patient is 20/20 on our visual acuity chart.
- With a fully dilated eye health exam, the patient shows no signs of disease.
- The patient has significant enough astigmatism in left eye to warrant glasses.
- The doctor explained findings from the front to the back of the eye.
Obviously, our results lacked any consistency. They also provided little detail and could have been alarming with the suggestion of a potential disease. If the goal was to send us running off to the nearest optometrist, it succeeded. I guess you get what you pay for with a free app.
Why should you get an eye exam from a doctor instead of an app?
Midwest Eye Consultants specializes in comprehensive eye exams. While your refraction (better 1 or 2 test) is a component of this exam, it is only a portion. Our main concern is the health of your eye. To get a true picture, dilation is necessary. Your pupil is the window to the inside of your eye. Making your pupil as big as we can allows the doctor a clearer view of the back (retina and optic nerve) of the eye. With this test, the doctor can identify many diseases such as glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and even hypertension. Your doctor wants to create a plan of treatment for any disease prior to the discussion of glasses and/or contacts. If we solely rely on an app for diagnosis purposes, it very likely might miss one of these diseases that often come without symptoms until vision begins to decrease.
“I understand that many people are interested in saving time and money when it comes to medical care, but substituting an inaccurate, ill-conceived screener instead of a comprehensive eye examination is doing the patient a disservice. What you physically see is only a portion of what a quality eye exam is really about. We are concerned with the health and appearance of the eye which is paramount to maintaining your vision AND your ocular health.” – Craig Bonham, O.D. | Summit Eye Care, Fort Wayne, IN
So leave the eye exams to your friendly expert optometrist and enjoy your game of Solitaire with good vision! Schedule your appointment today.