The following letter to the editor, written by ICO President Arol Augsburger, OD, appeared in the March 10 edition of Crain’s Chicago Business.
Get a Complete Eye Exam
Technology is a vital component of how eye doctors examine, diagnose and treat patients, which is why Illinois College of Optometry leaders and students were intrigued by Crain’s story about Opternative and its online method of testing vision (“Need your eyes checked? What if you could do it online?” Feb. 26).
Apparently, the Opternative technology merely addresses the vision and glasses component of eye care. We’d like to point out that there is much more to good eye and vision care besides measuring vision on the eye chart and prescribing glasses.
Doctors of optometry diagnose and manage eye infections, ocular allergies, crossed and lazy eyes, eye injuries and sight-threatening conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and stroke. Countless patients have pursued an eye examination with the intent of simply getting new glasses only to be diagnosed with a serious eye or health problem. When people do not get regular eye exams, they are missing an opportunity to prevent disease and catch serious conditions early. From a public health perspective, we’re concerned about any tool that intentionally or unintentionally delays the diagnosis of a serious health problem.
While Opternative has found a creative approach to the vision and refraction portion of the eye exam, it should not replace a dilated comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor.
Arol Augsburger President Illinois College of Optometry Chicago