American Optometric Association Cautions Consumers about Claims of Online Eye Exams



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[STK]

[IN] HEA MTC

[SU] NPT AVO

TO HEALTH, MEDICAL, AND NATIONAL EDITORS:

American Optometric Association Cautions Consumers about Claims of

Online Eye Exams

ST. LOUIS, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To protect

consumers' eye and vision health, the American Optometric Association

is warning the public about the false claims that internet companies

can provide an online "eye exam." These claims are confusing and

misleading. Consumers should understand that only an in-person exam

by a doctor of optometry or an ophthalmologist can determine how well

they see and whether or not they need corrective lenses. In addition,

every day, in patients seen for "routine" examinations when they have

no symptoms, doctors of optometry diagnose and manage diabetes,

hypertension, glaucoma, macular degeneration or cataracts. Anyone

claiming to perform an eye exam without physically examining a patient

is offering insufficient, ambiguous information and is contributing to

a patient believing-incorrectly-that his or her eye health needs have

been met.

The claims of those who market online eye testing should be thoroughly

scrutinized and evaluated; these claims may harm patients and hinder

care needed to diagnose important underlying, and often asymptomatic,

health problems. Any delay in intervention will result in progressive

damage to vision, and more costly and intensive treatments later in

life.

Consumers will be at significant risk regarding proper diagnosis and

treatment of potentially sight-threatening and even life-threatening

diseases if they are not properly evaluated by an eye doctor. Doctors

of Optometry and other physicians are able to interpret refractive

error changes and the possible implications of those changes to the

consumer's state of eye and general health.

"To help safeguard consumers, the AOA is closely monitoring

Internet-linked assertions about eye exams without doctors," says

Mitchell T. Munson, O.D., president of the AOA. "And, we'll play an

even more active role in fact-checking false claims."

The AOA provides the public a helpful guide to the components of a

comprehensive eye exam on its web site here

(http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/comprehensive-eye-and-vision-examination).

About the AOA: The American Optometric Association, a federation of

state, student and armed forces optometric associations, was founded

in 1898. Today, the AOA is proud to represent the profession of

optometry, America's family eye doctors, who take a leading role in an

individual's overall eye and vision care, health and well-being.

Doctors ofoptometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care

professionals for the eye and have extensive, ongoing training to

examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries

that affect the eye and visual system, providing two-thirds of primary

eye care in the U.S. For information on a variety of eye health and

vision topics, and to find an optometrist near you, visit www.aoa.org

.

SOURCE American Optometric Association

-0- 03/06/2014

/CONTACT: Susan Thomas, slthomas@aoa.org, 314-450-6313

/Web Site: http://www.aoa.org/

CO: American Optometric Association; AOA

ST: Missouri

IN: HEA MTC

SU: NPT AVO

PRN

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0000 03/06/2014 19:00:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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