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A new trend in eye care is the “do-it-yourself” eye test app. There are a number of these apps available for download onto both Apple and Android devices that allow users to check for problems with visual acuity, color vision and depth perception. But are these at-home eye tests protecting your vision as well as a comprehensive eye exam by an eye care specialist?

The answer is no – and even the apps’ makers will tell you that their apps are no substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.

Maybe There Isn’t an App for Everything

The Dangers of Having an Eye Exam with an App

The apps aren’t necessarily inaccurate (although results can vary depending on what app you’re using); the danger in a mobile app eye test lies in its limitations. These apps are unable to perform a truly comprehensive examination. They simply can’t deliver the same level of care an eye care professional can.

Many of the most important eye tests can only be performed in a clinical environment by a trained eye doctor. In the course of an in-person eye exam, the eye specialist will check the alignment of your eyes, eye movement and muscle function, as well as examining the surface of your eyes, your retina and the optic nerve.

Some critical eye tests that can only be conducted during an in-person visit include:

  • Ocular motility testing
  • Retinoscopy/Refraction to study how light passes through the eye
  • External examination of eyes to inspect the eyelids, surrounding tissues and palpebral fissure
  • Tonometry to measure intraocular pressure
  • Slit lamp exam – provides a highly detailed stereoscopic magnified view of the eye structures, enabling exact diagnoses to be made for a variety of eye conditions.
  • Glaucoma test
  • Pupil dilation

Early Signs of More Serious Conditions

In addition, there are a number of serious medical conditions that can be spotted in their early stages during a comprehensive eye exam. A few of the health issues that can only be discovered by seeing your eye doctor in-person include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • High cholesterol
  • Thyroid disease
  • Cancer
  • Tumors

At the Berkeley Eye Center, we encourage the use of new technologies to provide patients with more healthcare options. However, online vision testing and eye test apps need to be evaluated more fully to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Online vision testing may be a fun app to play with, but it should not be used as a substitute for a comprehensive eye examination performed by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist.

A User Experience No App Can Deliver

There’s one other thing Berkeley Eye Center offers its patients that you can’t get through an eye test app, and that’s the peace of mind knowing that you are being cared for by highly trained and experienced Houston optometrists and ophthalmologists. You’re a patient, not a user, and we provide you with the highest level of patient care.

We’ve been taking care of the eye health of Houston for 60 years.  Our reputation is built on the trust we’ve earned through providing high quality eye care to our patients.

Don’t risk your sight based on the results of an eye exam with an app. Call Berkeley Eye Center today to schedule a real eye exam with a real eye care specialist. Convenient locations throughout the greater Houston area make it almost as easy to visit a Berkeley Eye Center as it is to download an app.