What do the following images all have in common?
ALL OF THESE CONDITIONS CAN HAVE 20/20 VISION
Opternative, an online refractive source, claims to offer “Eye Exams From Home,” a claim which is horrifyingly false. An eye examination is not simply “Which is better, one or two,” as most people believe (and I myself believed until I suffered a corneal ulcer from contact lens abuse). From the initial complaints, a large amount of differentials caused by systemic conditions need to be ruled out. The refractive portion (”One or two”) can help determine whether there are abnormalities of the cornea/refractive surface that requires further examination. Biomicroscopy is performed to assess the health of the cornea, the iris, the angle, and the lens. Dilation is done so as to determine that patients do not suffer from any form of melanoma/cancers (as seen in the last picture). Many patients despise the dilation, and I guarantee you that every optometrist and ophthalmologists doesn’t enjoy having it done to them either - however, it is the best way to assess retinal health. Do you tell your physician that you don’t want your weight checked that day, or to not take your blood pressure or check your temperature? Why deny your eyes a full health check-up as well?
If Opternative wishes to change their statement to that of “Quick Refractions From Home,” there would be nothing incorrect with this statement. However, to give the general public the notion that what they are receiving is an eye examination (which is stated on the company’s home page) is fraudulent, misleading, and may put the patient’s vision and life at risk.
Here is a short list of systemic problems that manifest in the eye:
–High blood pressure (hypertension) can result in hemorrhaging, exudation, swelling. There have been studies proving correlation between retinal examination findings and the likelihood of a stroke within five years
–High cholesterol will leave cholesterol deposits within the cornea. Such findings are quite common in the elderly, but are uncommon in younger adults. They may also form plaques that can be found within retinal vessels
–Diabetes can also result in hemorrhaging, exudation, and swelling. Quite often, patients are first diagnosed based off of findings by their eye doctor.
–Many cancers metastasize to the eye, including breast cancer.
–Multiple sclerosis can cause optic neuritis
–Increased cranial pressure causes papilledema, a bilateral swelling of the optic nerve.
All of these are why annual eye examinations are important. You may think that your eyes are perfectly fine and that you may only need glasses, or may only want contacts. However, in many cases, that is unfortunately not true. Optometrists and ophthalmologists very often discover systemic and ocular conditions on patients who believe their vision to be perfectly normal.
Do your eyes a favor - they work constantly to allow you to view the world around you. There is so much more to ocular health than seeing “20/20.” Don’t compromise their health - let a professional take care of them, not a computer.