Hey Lifehacker, I have a few questions: Can I self-diagnose my eye sight like an optometrist would? And if I do visit an optometrist, who says the test is good enough? Should I get a second opinion to be sure? Thanks, Glasses Half Full
Eye picture from Shutterstock
As the adage goes, there’s an app for that! OPSM Eye Check is a free application for iOS and Android devices that performs basic eye tests to assess your vision. It covers near distance, distance (tablet required), constrast sensitivity, astigmatism and colour vision.
While you shouldn’t treat it as a substitute for a proper eye test, OPSM Eye Check is an easy and affordable way to keep an “eye” on the basics. You can download the Android and iOS versions here and here, respectively.
There are also numerous Ishihara tests available online which are designed to assess color perception (just do a quick Google search for plenty of examples). These tests involve identifying numbers or shapes inside a pattern of different coloured dots. If you have normal colour vision, the number or shape should be clearly visible. (Just be mindful that your results could be skewed by your monitor, especially if it’s low resolution or you are using a weird RGB setting.)
As to getting a professional assessment done, I’d say one optometrist is probably as good as any other. Unlike some physical ailments, it’s pretty hard to misdiagnose poor vision — either you can see properly, or you can’t. The testing procedure is pretty uniform across the board, so the results are likely to be roughly identical no matter where you go.
If you do have eyesight issues, the important thing to discover is the cause of it. Some visual impairments are highly degenerative without treatment, or may be related to an even worse problem like cancer. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of a professional instead of going down the self-diagnosis route. Good luck!
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