Digital Eye Exams

4 sources cited
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What is a Digital Eye Exam?

A digital eye exam is a relatively new technology that covers the same aspects of a traditional eye exam. They are used to identify vision problems. They also are better at ensuring optimal vision and health for your eyes in general. 

digital eye exam

State-of-the-art digital images allow eye doctors and optometrists to provide the most precise prescription measurements available to patients. This is essential for getting the perfect eyeglass prescriptions or contact lens prescriptions.  

With digital eye exams, you can expect less:

  • Outdated machines
  • Doctor judgement
  • Manual phoropters (the apparatus used to cover the eyes)
  • Lenses
  • Buttons
  • Reading numbers and letters out loud to the eye doctor or optometrist

When a newer digital phoropter is used to measure your eyes, the cutting edge software produces an initial prescription that the optometrist will use as a base. This result will likely be tweaked from there, resulting in a short refraction test, which determines eyeglass prescriptions. 

The digital measurements also register your cornea’s curvature, which is very useful for proper contact lens prescriptions.

What is a Clarifye Eye Exam?

Clarifye is a comprehensive digital eye exam from LensCrafters. It measures the optical characteristics of a patient’s visual system to an incredible degree. Clarifye is capable of pinpointing even the tiniest changes that occur over time. 

It does this by measuring more of the visual system rather than a small area of the pupil. This intricately precise mapping creates a digital "fingerprint" for the eye, including the cornea's exact curvature and measurement.

Clarifye is helpful in diagnosing or monitoring other health issues, such as diabetes or glaucoma. It can also provide insight into common night vision issues that can affect night driving, minimizing starburst and halos around lights.

Digital vs Traditional Eye Exams

Digital eye exams are quickly replacing traditional eye exams. Both are valid ways of performing comprehensive eye exams. Both will lead to accurate prescriptions.

The main advantage of digital eye exams is in the equipment. The equipment is much faster than a doctor taking manual measurements. Plus the images and measurements provided are much better at identifying eye conditions that could impact your overall health. You'll not be able to perform the digital test remotely (tele-optometry).

Are Digital Eye Exams More Accurate?

Digital eye exams typically provide the most accurate optical measurements, and as the technology continues to advance, it should only further improve.

Currently, a thoroughly performed traditional eye exam still can be just as accurate for all intents and purposes. However, this takes a lot more time and effort on the part of the optometrist.

Digital eye exams are also superior in identifying conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. These exams allow for a more comprehensive understanding of your eye health by mapping your visual system with digital precision.

The advanced digital eye exam technology takes the guesswork out of making precise measurements. It essentially creates a fingerprint of your eye with incredible accuracy that is much more reliable than traditional eye exams.

How Much Does a Digital Eye Exam Cost?

A patient-friendly eye exam should cost about the same, whether it is a digital or traditional eye exam. The lower end for licensed eye exams is around $50, with the average varying between $100 and $200, depending on location. 

Some eye exams can cost as much as $400 out-of-pocket, but there are numerous options available at a lower cost. If you have special vision needs, vision insurance is essential to avoid paying high optometry costs, including eyewear prescriptions. 

How Much Does a Clarifye Eye Exam Cost?

Clarifye eye exams are typically no more expensive than other forms of eye exams, as mentioned above. The lack of traditional instruments and the use of software to perform retinal and corneal examinations help keep the cost as low as traditional eye exams. 

Where To Get a Digital Eye Exam

Almost all vision chains and private optical practices offer digital eye exams, though traditional equipment is often still available as well. If you would like to know if a specific location uses digital technology, you can send them an email, call reception, or simply check their website. 

Clarifye eye exams are provided solely by Lenscrafters, one of the largest global eyewear and eye care retailers. Each Lenscrafters location features an independent optometrist onsite or in an adjacent store to conduct licensed exams. Clarifye has been available since 2016. 

There are more than 1,050 locations across the United States and Canada, with nearly all of them offering their proprietary digital eye exam services. 

4 Cited Research Articles
  1. National Institute of Health National Eye Center. “Refractive Errors.” NIH
  2. National Institute of Health National Eye Center. “Finding an Eye Doctor.” NIH
  3. American Academy of Opthalmology. “Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics.” AAO
  4. LensCrafters. “Clarifye: The Digital Eye Exam That Shows You More.”
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