An eye test is highly shared on WhatsApp and through social media. The test shows a red dot with a number written inside it. The test claims that people who fail to read the number or read the number wrong have a vision problem. We fact-checked and found that the claim is mostly false.
The viral text message reads, “See the red circle closely! If u see no. 88 Left eye is weak, No. 83 – Right eye is weak, No. 38 – both eyes are strong, No. 33- Consult a Doctor, Both eyes weak. This is one of the greatest simplest tests designed by American ophthalmologists.”
Is this test designed by American Opthalmologists ? Does this work?
No. This test was not designed by American Ophthalmologists. There is no evidence available for the same.
There is no scientific validation of the test either. The readability of the number will depend on the image quality, screen brightness, ambient lighting etc., and hence cannot be considered as a conclusive test.
Medical professionals do not endorse such eye testing methods.
Eye Surgeon Dr. Aftab Alam, MBBS, DO (Ophthalmology) says, “There is no scientific validity of such tests. We do not recommend anyone to take any conclusive medical decision based on any such tests or panic if they are not able to see the number. A qualified eye specialist will always test your eyes properly to diagnose any underlying issues rather than depending on such tests.”
Are online eye tests dependable in general?
There are a number of specialized Apps for testing your eye health. Such apps have special instructions about distance and lighting that need to be followed while measuring the power of your eyes. A few eyewear providers like Essilor also provide online eye tests on their websites.
Expert opinions about such tests are divided. A clinical trial done to measure the effectiveness of web-based tools in measuring eye power shows some success. But the American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO) says these tests cannot be your first eye test. “Home vision exams are best used to update an existing prescription in adults who previously had a comprehensive eye exam,” mentions the website.
The website of AAO further says, “The public should understand that these online tests can measure the power of your eyeglass prescription, but they can’t detect eye diseases that often have hidden symptoms.”
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