Complete Your Online Eye Exam Today
Frequently Asked Questions
Our online vision test works in four easy steps:
1.) Check your eligibility
You can learn more about the process in its entirety here!
Once you have completed the online vision test, your results are reviewed by a board-certified ophthalmologist or optometrist in the state you are located.
Yes! Visibly’s online vision test is a prescription renewal service, so the doctor will want to know your previous prescription so they know what they need to renew for you!
After a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist has issued your prescription, you will receive an email from Optimized Eye Care, Visibly’s doctor network, with your prescription. Please note, LensFactory may not access your prescription. The only way we can obtain it is by you submitting it to us with an order.
You also can access your prescription anytime by logging in to your Visibly account.
There are certain age, location, and vision health requirements to qualify for taking our vision test. In order to be eligible for Visiblys online vision test, you must:
Have no health conditions that may affect your vision
The vision test can be taken from anywhere there is an internet connection available, including the comfort of your own home. However, there are states that have regulations on healthcare technology and telehealth which restrict the use of Visibly.
How Do Online Eye Exams Work
Also known as vision tests, or prescription checkups, online eye exams do not require an actual examination. Instead, online eye exams are designed for the renewal of pre-existing prescriptions for glasses or contacts, eliminating the need to physically see an optometrist.
Online eye exams are more geared towards refraction, astigmatism, and color blindness tests.
To conduct an online vision test, you will need a computer and a few feet of space. Several exams require a smartphone as well for the purpose of downloading an app. You will also need to wear your existing prescription for some parts of the exam.
Some online exam providers only offer simple check-up tests, suggesting that if your results are problematic, a doctor should be consulted. They are important for maintaining up-to-date information about your eyesight.
A cheaper option, these exams are also helpful when you are in a financial bind. After the online eye exam has been completed, which only takes about five minutes, a licensed optometrist examines the test results. In one or two business days, if no issues arise, your prescription is renewed.
While eye exams done online are convenient, they do not replace the need to see an optometrist occasionally in-person. Online eye exams are not capable of measuring each and every aspect of your field of vision, whereas a licensed optometrist will have the knowledge and resources to fully assist you.
The Visual Acuity Assessment
This is certainly the most important. All eyeglass wearers are familiar with this test. The eye doctor asks you to read letters or symbols and to identify the direction of the opening in special rings each with a different size on a projection surface. The eye doctor checks the size of the various elements you can identify them without difficulty. A process known as subjective refraction is also performed after this by the eye doctor. After various lenses with different powers have been inserted in a device known as a trial frame, we indicate whether we see better or worse with each lens. The eye doctor begins to optimize the lens first for one eye, and then for the other. It is then important to check the interaction of the eyes by using a binocular test. Other tests can also be used to identify a condition known as associated heterophoria, which can then be corrected and, in some cases, treated.
In Part 1 of our free online assessment we simulate the testing of your visual performance on the screen. This is not intended as a replacement for the tests conducted by your eye doctor. However, you will receive an initial impression of the quality of your vision.
During eye examination, the refractive power required to correct defective vision is determined without accommodation .
cylindrical ametropia the eye sees dots as bars or lines
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What Are The Risks Of Online Eye Exams
Online vision tests have their limitations. Make sure to consider these factors and that you understand the scope of the eye exam that you are getting. As emphasized earlier, online vision tests are not meant as a replacement for in-person checkups with your eye doctor. With that in mind, you have to manage your expectations and keep your regular appointments with your specialist to ensure that your eyes are healthy.
There is no trained eye care professional during online vision tests, so your eyes wont be carefully and thoroughly examined. Any conditions like cataracts, glaucoma and other eye health problems will not be detected in an online eye exam. You will need to go to an eye doctor to determine any of these via a comprehensive eye exam.
Furthermore, there is no one to ensure that the testing is performed correctly. And if you fail to do the test correctly, there is a possibility that you wont get the right prescription for your eyes. You may not be able to see as clearly as you should, which can be dangerous if you will be wearing the wrong prescription glasses for driving or other activities. You may also experience some problems like headaches and eye strain.
Who Can Take Online Vision Tests
Online vision tests are meant for healthy adults ages 18 to 39 who:
- Already have a prescription for eyeglasses and itâs not very strong
- Have already had a complete eye exam and know their eyes are healthy
- Have no risks for eye disease, like diabetes or high blood pressure
Even if you are the right age and healthy enough to take an online vision test, you should still get regular eye exams as often as your eye doctor recommends.
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Who Can Take Online Eye Exams
Not everyone can take an online eye exam since this type of testing has limitations. Online vision tests are mainly intended for healthy adults ages 18 to 39 who:
- have already taken a complete eye exam and know they have no eye problems
- already have a prescription for eyeglasses
- have no risks for eye disease such as high blood pressure or diabetes
If you dont fit in any of these criteria, its best to pay your eye doctor a visit for a comprehensive eye exam.
Do You Have Your Current Eyewear Prescription At Your Fingertips
Your prescription powers your eyewear. Our optometrists use your old one as areference for validating your new prescription.
Take the exam now, or save it for later?
Based on experience, we advise you to take your time with the online eye-exam to optimize your results. We can email you a link to proceed whenever youre ready.
If you want to do it right now or maybe you are just curious, no problem.
Great, youre all set!Lets get started
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What States Allow Online Eye Exams
There are currently 35 states that allow Online Eye Exams: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
This Is What Happened When I Tried An Online Eye Exam
A few weeks ago I had reason to panic: I was on my last pair of contacts and had to schedule another eye exam before I could get any more. I’d heard of a service called Opternative, which offers online refraction exams . It sounded perfectbut would it actually work? To find out, I used the service and visited a regular eye doc to compare the results. Here’s what I learned.
Don’t expect to see the standard eye chart online.
The Opternative exam is a bit different than sitting down in an eye doctor’s office and squinting to read a chart of letters. First of all, the online test requires you to use both your smartphone, which records your answers, and a computer screen, which displays the test. And instead of being shown the same letters and numbers over and over again, a series of shapes and lines appear on screen, and you have to determine their clarity or blurriness. The program also provides written and spoken instructions , like to stand up, sit down, move away from or closer to the computer, and so on.
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An in-person exam takes way longer.No surprise here. I spent a good 20 minutes or so chatting away with the eye doctor before he even turned the lights outnot a bad thing, just definitely something that ate up time. In comparison, Opternative’s exam took about 25 minutes total, and I didn’t have to leave the comfort of my own apartment .
I was more decisive during the online exam.
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What Are Online Eye Tests
One of the first things that you should understand about online eye tests is that they are intended only to measure your visual acuity and detect refractive errors. Sometimes they may also include other vision tests like color blindness and contrast sensitivity.
These tests do not and cannot evaluate the health of your eyes. They cannot help you determine whether you have conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration.
Online vision exams may be useful in certain circumstances. However, they should not be regarded as a substitute for routine or comprehensive eye exams, which are performed by eye doctors in person.
Typically, online vision tests can be used if you wish to obtain a valid eyeglass prescription. This is especially useful if you need to replace your old glasses or if you broke or lost your eyewear while on vacation or you cannot make a personal appearance in an eye clinic for some other reason.
Online vision tests can also be helpful in monitoring your eyesight and refractive error between routine eye exams. However, take note that while the results of some online eye tests have been validated with limited studies, more research is still needed to ensure that an eyeglass or contact lens prescription generated by such tests is comparable to a prescription determined through an in-person eye examination.
How To Get A Glasses Prescription Online
If you think you need a new or updated eyeglass prescription, you may be wondering if you can get prescription glasses without a prescription from an optometrist.
Online vision testing is a new medical technology that delivers eye care services via the Internet. The results of a virtual vision exam may be able to tell you what corrective eyeglasses would be best for your current vision needs. Several states have disallowed non- onsite examinations sighting safety and ethical concerns with non doctor to patient personal encounters.
Its important to note that an online vision test will vary depending on the company you elect to take an exam through. Additionally, since you will take these exams on your computer or smartphone, your environments lighting and devices stabilization can play a big role in how effective the results are.
An online vision test may assess:
- If you have blurry or stretched vision which is a condition known as astigmatism
- The sharpness of your vision
- Your eyes sensitivity to light
- If you have color-blindness
Online vision tests will also require that you:
- How much protection from ultraviolet light you want
- Enter an exact PD measurement
- Enter an exact head measurement, for sizing purposes
Depending on the test you take, it may offer tips and helpful resources along the way to guide you through the exam. Some may allow you to upload a photo of yourself, so you can get a better idea of what the frame will look like on your face.
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Is The Vision Test At The Dmv An Eye Exam
The vision test at the DMV is not an eye exam. The DMV does use an eye chart to test vision. But a DMV vision test only assesses whether you have the required visual acuity to drive safely according to each states laws. Almost anyone can perform it.
A comprehensive eye exam is a complete examination of your eye health and vision and can only be performed by an eye doctor.
Are Online Eye Tests Reliable
October 2, 2020 by Dr. Mary Ann Zastrow
So many things can be done online these days that an online eye exam no longer seems like a novel idea. In fact, people are often inclined to consider it as sensible, practical and convenient. You can get an eyeglass prescription and purchase glasses from the comforts of your home. No more taking a trip to your eye doctors office and lining up to get checked. Of course, these advantages are all valid. But is the convenience and the time you are able to save really worth it in the end? Are online eye tests truly effective?
You have probably considered taking an online eye test at some point. So whether you are interested in trying it out or just plain curious about their effectiveness, read on to get the answers to some frequently asked questions about online eye exams.
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When Should You Use An Online Vision Test Then
An at-home visual acuity test can benefit people who have busy schedules or cannot easily travel to their eye care providers. Sometimes, they might just need to renew their drivers license or contact lens prescription.
Its best for patients whose eyes are young and healthy and who can tell that their prescription hasnt changed, Rapoport said.
For people who want a more in-depth evaluation, she continues to recommend scheduling an in-person appointment.
Theres absolutely no way that youre getting a better, more accurate prescription doing this, Rapoport said. Youre getting convenience.
The Importance Of Eye Exams
Routine comprehensive eye exams will help to provide a lifetime of clear vision and healthy eyes. Eye exams not only keep your prescription up to date, but they also maintain eye health by detecting issues early.
Your eyes and vision continue to change from childhood through old age. Safeguard your eye health and eyesight by following your eye doctors recommendations on how often you should be seen for an eye exam.
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Inspired By A Patient To Go Online
It was a patient who motivated Lee, in 2009, to develop an online vision testing company. At the time, he was working as an optometrist at a private practice in Chicago and teaching ophthalmology students at Northwestern Hospital.
She was a single mom. It sounded very difficult for her to make it into the clinic, and her vision was changing and fluctuating a lot, Lee said of the patient, who needed refraction tests.
She finally makes it in, and then she asked me this one question that really just stuck with me. Why cant we do eye exams at home? and that just really gave me a light-bulb moment, said Lee, who has a background in engineering, optics and eye care.
I ended up going home and just started doodling, that night, a lot of different ideas, Lee said. He then realized that refraction tests could be conducted online, though it would be controversial.
I realized that it really was possible and then figured out the concept, he said.
Online Eye Exam Vs In
Online eye exams are an incredibly convenient option for many people. Still, they should never be a replacement for receiving an in-person comprehensive vision exam performed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. Comprehensive eye exams are much more than receiving a prescription and are necessary to ensure good eye health and catch potential issues before becoming significantly worse.
Unfortunately, not everyone can take an online eye exam and receive a prescription. For starters, you have to be an existing eyewear user . Where you live also comes into play when determining whether you are eligible for an online vision exam.
Online eye exams currently are available in the following states: AL, CA, CO, CT, FL, HI, IA, IL, KS, KY, MA, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, or WY.)
Perhaps youre not quite sure if the online route for your prescription is right for you. Take a look at these pros and cons:
What Are The Limitations Of The Online Vision Test
The online vision test is used to assess elements of visual acuity in order for a doctor to be able to review and renew your preexistinglens prescription. It does not perform or replace an initial or comprehensive eye examination and does not assess eye health. If there isindication that your prescription has changed or that you exhibit underlying eye health conditions the online vision test will recommendthat you visit an in-person doctor.
The Difference Between Vision Tests And Eye Exams
This new wave of online health services, or those received through telephone or videoconferencing, is described as telemedicine.
The way I see telemedicine is, its a more unique method of delivering health care to individuals, whereby its a lot more accessible, Lee said. Unlike the typical brick and mortar type locations where you need to make an appointment and go in, telemedicine allows individuals to seek care at their convenience.
Spetalnick said, there is such a thing as telemedicine, and its a positive, but he added that he has some concerns about where online vision testing fits in.
Eye care patients tend to think that an eye exam is just a measurement for glasses, and that is a real important test, because people want to see well out of their glasses. But its a fairly small part of an overall comprehensive eye examination and has no impact, or very little impact, on assessing the health of the eye, Spetalnick said.
There is a standard of care when an eye doctor is expected to perform an eye exam and the eye exam is expected to determine if the patient does or doesnt have things like glaucoma, retina problems, even diabetes can be detected, he said.
Opternative states on its website that its not a replacement for a comprehensive eye health examination. Rather, its a device that can only be used to prescribe glasses and contact lens prescriptions by licensed physicians.
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