If you wear prescription eyeglasses and/or contacts, then you’re probably familiar with the process and the costs associated with renewing your prescription on a yearly basis. Obviously, we need glasses or contacts to see, but what happens when you are strapped for cash and need to update your prescription 🤔? Well, now you have another option – an online vision test through Opternative.
I used to have eye insurance through my job, which was fabulous. But now that I don’t have that insurance to rely on, I’ve had to resort to researching the most cost-effective way to check my eyes. And, thus, renew my contact prescription. Most big box eye clinics and private optometrist offices will charge anywhere from $90 – $150 for prescription contact appointments. Contact appointments are more costly because it usually requires the office to provide a sample set of contact lenses for the patient to wear for a couple of weeks. Eye doctors do this in order to “try before you buy”.
Lately, I’ve been looking for an inexpensive method for my yearly contacts eye appointment since my boyfriend and I are living on one income while I get this blog up and started. So, I wanted to find the most inexpensive route to get my eyes checked out. While I completely suggest getting your eyes checked every year for their health by a qualified optometrist, I am excited to announce that I found an alternative in an online website called, Opternative.
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What Happened when I Took an Online Vision Test (an Opternative Review)
Disclosure: I am NOT an eye health or vision care professional. This is an honest review and based on my own opinion and use of Opternative’s services. I was NOT sponsored or paid to write this post. NO affiliate links 🙂
What is Opternative?
Opternative is a website designed as an online vision test. Plus, they’ll send you an eye prescription online! All from the comfort of your home.
An important side note: Opternative does NOT offer full eye exams. The online exam will test your vision, NOT the health of your eyes (see Opternative’s disclosure below).
Why Did I Choose an Online Vision Test?
I wanted to try a different method than going to a traditional optometrist’s office this year. Why? Mostly to save some cash, but I really was quite interested to see what the process was like. (And NO, this is not a sponsored post, and I am NOT receiving any affiliate payouts – this info is really for you guys 🙂
I’ve been wearing glasses since I was seven years old, and contacts since I was fifteen. Although I do have terrible eyesight, it has actually changed very little over the last several years. And I continue to wear the same brand of contact lenses since I graduated high school. I am still happy with my contacts brand (I wear Night & Day) and very confident in the vision refraction process, so I thought, “why not change it up?!” Enter Opternative…
What is Opternative?
Opternative uses patented technology to provide its users with a convenient, affordable vision refraction test online. All you need is:
- a computer
- a smart phone (you’ll use it like a remote control)
- your prior contact or eyeglass prescription (for those updating their prescription)
- a credit card or membership card to hold up on your computer screen (to get an accurate size of the letters/numbers for your vision test)
The cool thing about Opternative is that you can try the test out before paying a dime! For an eyeglass or contacts prescription, the cost is $50. Or, if you need both, it’s only $60.
How does Opternative work?
You’ll first need to go to www.opternative.com and sign up to get started.
2. Once registered and signed in, you’ll choose which vision test you want: Contact, Contacts and Glasses, or Glasses.
3. From there, you’ll answer some basic questions to determine if you’re wearing contacts/glasses and whether you’re happy with your vision.
4. You’ll also add info with regard to how you will provide you prior prescription (picture, a copy of prescription or just provide prescription values).
5. Then, you’ll start your test – Make sure you’re on your computer and you have your smart phone handy.
6. This next part may sound strange, but grab a credit card and hold it up to your screen. Then use the plus and minus buttons to get the magenta-pink lines as close as possible to the edges of the card. Opternative will have you do this to calibrate the vision test to your computer size.
7. Once the cards match and you enter your shoe size/phone number, you’ll be directed to a screen that will display a code that you’ll need to connect your smart phone to the vision test. Note: You can go to opternative.com/sync on your phone’s browser. Or, simply have them text you the link and the code directly to your phone (aka the easier way).
8. After connecting your smart phone with the correct code, you’ll need to follow the directions on your phone. Essentially, you’ll walk away from the computer screen with a predetermined number of steps (based on your shoe size). And you will use your phone as a remote to select your answers.
I didn’t grab any screen shots, but I believe it is fairly simple to follow these directions. Just make sure you are in a room that is dark. It will be easier to see your computer screen and mirror the same type of setting you receive in an optometrist’s office.
The test itself probably took me no more than 10 minutes. From there you’ll want to proceed with your payment information and details regarding your previous contact or glasses prescription.
How long did it take to receive the prescription?
I completed the test on September 12th and my prescription was ready, as promised the next day, September 13th!
My contact prescription strength didn’t change, but I do feel good knowing that a local optometrist signed off on it. Opternative also made sure to recommend that I get an in-person exam, which I plan on doing in a few months once income is more steady.
Opternative Info + FAQs
Again, this is probably overkill, but an online vision test DOES NOT replace an in-person exam. For the health of your eyes, please make sure you proceed with getting a proper exam every year.
All-in-all, I believe Opternative’s online vision test is a fabulous alternative for those who need an eye prescription asap and are familiar with the vision test process already. If you know your vision has changed drastically, or you change your contact brand often, I might recommend you go with an in-person exam.
For me, Opternative was just what I was looking for!
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Have you tried Opternative yet? What was your experience like? Would you do it again? Please share in the comments!