Do Online Vision Tests Really Work?

Dr. Oz has the answer.

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The Claim: Bypass the doc and take an eye test on your phone or computer. An ophthalmologist reviews your results for about $40 and gives you a prescription, if you need one.

Oz Says: Online eye tests can tell you if you'’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, but only if you’'re under age 40. (If you're older, they instruct you to see a doc in person.) But you might not always end up with the perfect prescription if you're squinting when you choose your answers. And the wrong prescription can stress your eyes over time.

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Even if the test sets you up with the right Rx, it can't find you the most comfy contacts (trial and error with an optometrist can) or determine if your eyes are healthy. In the office, you get screened for glaucoma, macular degeneration, and corneal issues, says Andrea Thau, president of the American Optometric Association. Retinal exams can even reveal diabetes, based on changes in the veins of the eye. (Optometrists diagnosed 240,000 new cases of diabetes in 2014.) Convenience is great, but your eyes and the rest of your health are worth extra TLC.

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The verdict? Skip it.

This story originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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