Opternative is a company that offers an online eye exam using only your smartphone and computer. There has been a lot of discussion as to how this compares to actually going to an eye doctor to get an exam.
One argument is that there are many things that an eye doctor can test that simply can’t be tested using a computer. For the most part, I agree. However, there is a particular segment of the population for which an online eye exam is absolutely perfect. Does this sound like you? If so, I have good news! I will include a coupon code at the end of this post that you can use to get 10% off your online eye exam!
Picture this: You make an appointment with your optometrist. You’ll need to take time off work or go during your lunch hour because by the time you get off work, your eye doctor’s office is closed. You drive across town, fill out all the paperwork, and wait to see the doctor. You complete the exam, make your payment, and then begin the process of figuring out which glasses or contacts you want.
Now, picture this: You get off work, go home, have dinner, and then log onto Opternative’s website. The exam takes about 25 minutes, all done in your jammies. You get your prescription the next day, and you can choose to either take that to your favorite local optical store, or order your glasses or contacts online.
Which looks better? One? or Two? 🙂
If you are over 45, Opternative won’t complete your eye exam. This is because at around 45, many of the more serious eye ailments start to rear their ugly heads. You will need to remember the last eye exam you had, and the contact information for your previous eye doctor. If you cannot provide this information, it doesn’t seem like you can get your eye exam through Opternative, either. This is because they review the results of your last eye exam to figure out if you have any conditions that could be a cause for concern, and they use that information to verify your prescription. I will probably alternate between visiting my eye doctor and completing the online eye exam. That way, I can be sure my overall eye health is not deteriorating.
We did three eye exams on the same day: One for me, one for my 20 year old son, and one for his dad. The process was pretty straightforward, and felt a lot like the refractive exams my eye doc gives me. Which looks clearer? Which looks better? Are the lines touching? Are they fuzzy? First with your current prescription glasses and then again without. Move closer, back up. Close your left eye, now close your right. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. It was actually kind of fun. The process utilizes some pretty cool technology to link your smartphone with your computer. None of us experienced issues with the app or the website. All three of us were able to complete the exam with no issues.
As soon as you have completed the eye exam, you are given some preliminary results for free. If you want your full prescription, you enter your credit card information and are advised to expect the results within 24 hours. This is where the experience deviated drastically.
My prescription was delivered to me very quickly. I guess my eye doctor was very responsive, and my prescription actually hasn’t changed from my last exam, according to my performance. Easy enough! Prescription in hand, I started searching for a company that sells glasses online. I found a great one, but more on that in another post. 🙂
My son’s prescription took a little longer. His eyesight had changed a little, but not enough to worry. He did receive his later the next day, just outside of the 24 hour period, but they had remained in contact with him to let him know they were still working on it. Pretty nice.
Jimmy’s experience has been very different. They sent an email, and called him. Apparently, they are having trouble retrieving his current prescription. His eye doctor doesn’t seem to be able to locate his previous prescription. They aren’t giving up, though! I checked the status as I was typing this post, and they are still diligently trying to get his prescription done. I should add here that his vision is by far the WORST of the three of us, and his last eye exam was several years ago. We knew going in that this would be the biggest challenge yet to test Opternative and how well they handle even the toughest situations.
What I like about about this company is that they have a satisfaction guarantee. If you get your prescription and order glasses that you don’t like, or you can’t see well enough with, they will refund your money. It’s that simple. If they are unable to issue a prescription, they refund your money (which we might be “testing” if they can’t get Jimmy’s exam done… I’ll let you know how that works out). At any rate, you have almost nothing to lose, except a little bit of your time.
If you have younger children and aren’t sure how good their eyesight is, this would be a good way to test it, especially if doctors make the kiddos nervous. Opternative recommends that you see an eye care professional at least every two years to make sure everything still looks good, and I agree with that assessment.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience and I am happy with how it turned out. I would certainly recommend this service to anyone to try!
Here’s that code I promised: Go to Opternative’s website here, and start your no-risk, no obligation eye exam. When it gets to the payment part, enter the promo code: rere100046 and you will receive 10% off the cost of your prescription!
What would you like for us to tout about?