Eye doctor advises against DIY eye exams

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Kids across Indiana went back to school over the last few weeks, and for many, an eye exam was part of back to school prep.

Now, at-home eye exams are an option, where patients can self-administer an eye exam with a device that attaches to a smart phone.

Several devices are on the market. FOX59 tried out the EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker, which retails for $29.99.

Its packaging says customers can use this to track eyesight over time and use the data to “order eyeglasses from online retailers that do not require an eye care provider’s prescription certification.”

FOX59 took this to Dr. Tavel to test it out.

Kyle Brumbaugh wears glasses or contacts all day. When testing his eyesight on the EyeQue device, Kyle had trouble seeing the display and getting the program to work.

“That did not work for me at all,” Brumbaugh said.

Then Kyle took a traditional eye exam.

Kyle’s results from the traditional eye exam were:
Right Eye -7.00D No Astigmatism
Left Eye -7.50D No Astigmatism

Results from Kyle’s EyeQue exam were much different:
Right Eye -3.75D High Astigmatism
Left Eye -3.00D Moderate Astigmatism

Not only are the EyeQue results completely different from the traditional exam’s results, the device can’t test eye health.

“All optometrists see patients in their chairs every day that could have potentially life-threatening conditions that if aren’t caught by a primary eye care provider that it can be incredibly dangerous for the patient,” said Dr. Max Rumbach, OD, an optometrist with Dr. Tavel.

He cautions anyone using this device, especially parents for their children.

“There are a number of eye conditions that are specific to children that if an accurate refraction is not obtained, then it can be potentially sight threatening,” Dr. Rumbach said.

When asked for a response to the results, EyeQue responded that at least three tests should be administered for accurate results. EyeQue also said this should not take the place of a traditional eye exam.

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