Visual Acuity Test

Whether you’re getting an eye exam or trying to get your driver’s license, you’ve most likely had to take a visual acuity test. You know the drill, cover one eye and see how well you can view the scattered letters on the chart 20 feet away. At Pearle Vision, our eye doctors will conduct a visual acuity test before writing you an eyeglass or contact lens prescription. Learn more about visual acuity testing below and what to expect.

What Is Visual Acuity Testing

During a routine eye exam, you’ll take a variety of tests to determine the health of your eyes and to check your vision. One of the main tests you’ll have to perform is the visual acuity test. What is visual acuity testing? This test is used to determine how well you can distinguish the shapes and details of the things you see using a standardized chart placed 20 feet away. Typically, your eye doctor will have you cover one eye at a time and ask you to read letters from a specific line, so they can determine the smallest letters you can read.

Visual acuity testing also plays an important role in children’s eye care. This test can help determine if your child is experiencing vision problems early on and get them the treatment they need to see clearly.

What to Expect During Visual Acuity Testing

When you go in for a routine eye exam, you may be asked to take a visual acuity test. This is how it will be performed:

  • First, you will be asked to remove your glasses or contact lenses (if you have any).
  • The eye doctor will then ask you to stand 20 feet away from the chart containing various letters.
  • You’ll be asked to cover one eye at a time with the palm of your hand or a piece of paper provided by your eye doctor.
  • Your eye doctor will then ask you to read letters from different lines.
  • For children, or in cases where the patient doesn’t read, a chart containing numbers, lines or pictures will be used instead.
  • The test may be repeated using your eyeglasses or contacts to determine if your prescription needs updating.
  • You may also be asked to read from a chart held 14 inches away from your face to determine how well you see up close (near vision).

Understanding the Results of a Visual Acuity Test

A visual acuity test can help determine whether you need glasses or contact lenses to see clearly. Each line on the chart indicates how well you can see at that distance. For example, 20/20 is considered normal, it determines that you can see objects clearly from 20 feet away. A 20/40 result indicates that the line on the chart you read at 20 feet away can be clearly seen at 40 feet away by a person with normal vision. Even if you miss one or two letters on the smallest line you can read, your eye doctor will most likely still determine that you have vision equal to that line.

When to Schedule an Eye Exam

It’s important to have an annual eye exam in order to catch any changes in your vision early on. Schedule an appointment at your neighborhood Pearle Vision EyeCare Center today to check the health of your eyes and your vision.

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