11:27 Mon

How to check vision with an at home eyesight test

How to check vision with an at home eyesight test photo

Whilst you should set regular vision check ups with a specialist, at home eyesight tests can be used to detect problems earlier. An at home eyesight test is simply a way to quickly examine your vision, in much the same way an eye doctor may do so.

Whilst at home eyesight tests can inform you of potential vision issues, please note that they are not a substitute for professional exams and expert advice. An at home eyesight test can be administered as a way to get a rough indication of your eye health.

Why should I do an At Home Eyesight Test?

Even though the human mind is fantastic at spotting patterns, we’re often oblivious to the gradual changes and progressions happening to our bodies. Your vision may have worsened without you knowing, which is why at home eyesight tests are so valuable.

By taking a test at home, you’re able to spot current or potential eye problems that may have gone unnoticed otherwise. Opticians do sometimes recommend that patients administer at home eyesight tests periodically, though it’s important to consult a health care provider regarding your specific situation.

People at risk of developing eye conditions such as macular degeneration may be told to take Amsler grid tests at home, usually once a week (and no more frequently) in order to spot gradual changes. Though there is no risks associated with these checks, home vision tests are most effective when performed under the direction of your health care provider.

How to do an At Home Eyesight Test

There are various types of at home eyesight tests you can do, so the method will vary depend on what exactly you’re testing for.

1. Testing Distance Vision with an Eye Chart

Materials Needed: measuring tape, printed eye chart, tape, pen & paper, well-lit room, (ideally) a second person to check performance

Duration of Test: one or two minutes 

Expected Results: you should be able to correctly read all (or almost all) letters on the 20/20 line without difficulty or excessive straining.

Just as you’ll remember from visits to the ophthalmologist, eyesight is tested with a physical chart at specific distances. You can take the same vision tests from home.

Steps for Distance Vision Eye Test:

  1. Download and print an eye chart onto standard A4-size paper (8.3” x 11.7”)
  2. Tape the chart securely to the wall, ensuring it’s straight
  3. With a measuring tape, measure out a straight distance of 10 feet, or 3 meters. 
  4. Keep glasses on if you  usually wear them for distance vision
  5. Cover one eye and work through each line of letters.
  6. Work downwards until you have finished the test or cannot read anymore letters
  7. Make a note of the smallest line where you were able to identify all (or almost all) of the letters correctly
  8. Repeat the test with your other eye, making sure you know which results correspond to which eye

2. Testing Near Vision with an Eye Chart

Materials Needed: measuring tape, printed eye chart, tape, pen & paper, well-lit room, (ideally) a second person to check performance

Duration of Test: one or two minutes 

Expected Results: You should be able to correctly identify all (or almost all) letters on the 20/20 line without difficulty.

The same eye chart can be used to check near vision, simply by performing the test at a shorter distance. It’s still important to measure precisely, as positioning yourself too close will give inaccurate results.

Steps for Near Vision Eye Test:

  1. Download and print an eye chart onto standard A4-size paper (8.3” x 11.7”)
  2. Tape the chart securely to the wall, ensuring it’s straight
  3. With a measuring tape, measure out a straight distance of 14 inches, or 35 centimeters
  4. If you usually wear glasses for short vision (e.g. reading), keep them on
  5. Cover one eye and work through each line of letters
  6. Work downwards until you have finished the test or cannot read anymore letters
  7. Make a note of the smallest line where you were able to identify all (or almost all) of the letters correctly
  8. Repeat the test with your other eye

3. Testing Macular Degeneration with an Amsler Grid Test

Materials Needed: measuring tape, printed Amsler grid, pen & paper, well-lit space

Duration of Test: less than a minute

Expected Results: You should observe all lines as straight and unbroken, where there are also no distorted, grayed out or missing sections.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects millions of people, brought about when the macula is impaired. The condition causes distorted or reduced central vision. Those with risk factors are typically advised to conduct this test at home once per week.

Steps for Amsler Grid Eye Test:

  1. Download and print an Amsler grid test, which should measure 10cm x 10cm
  2. Hold the Amsler grid at your natural reading distance, approximately 13 inches, or 33 centimeters
  3. If you usually wear reading glasses, keep them on
  4. Cover one eye and focus on the centered black dot for 10 seconds, keeping the rest of the grid in peripheral vision
  5. Record the location of any distorted, grayed out or missing sections
  6. Repeat the test with your other eye 

When should I go to see an Ophthalmologist?

If you experience anything other than the expected results, you should consult your health care provider immediately. More generally, adults should get a professional eye examination if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Eye pain or irritation
  • Blurriness or fogginess
  • Build up of eye fluid
  • Distortion of straight lines
  • Fluctuating light and dark patterns
  • Trouble adjusting to lighting 
  • Difficulty focusing on either near or far objects
  • Frequent migraines concentrated behind the eye
  • Sudden vision changes or abnormalities

Checking eyes at home is valuable as you may discover potential problems earlier, which will likely give your health care provider more effective treatment options. There are many types of vision issues, so it’s essential that you consult with your doctor about any abnormal results from at home eyesight tests.

Share this article
Thematical articles
Eye exam photo
03:17 Thu

Eye exam

...

read more
Sun protection
Doctors
Gorobyuk Oleg Antonovich
Gorobyuk Oleg Antonovich

Doctor of the highest category

Details
Ivashin Alexey Ivanovich
Ivashin Alexey Ivanovich

Doctor ophthalmologist surgeon

Details
Ivashina Victoria Viktorivna
Ivashina Victoria Viktorivna

Specialist in pediatric and adult ophthalmology and strabology.

Details
Clinics
Clinic «The best vision»
Clinic «The best vision»

"The best vision" is equipped with high-quality modern ophthalmological equipment, so the technical capabilities for diagnosis and treatment in our clinic of the highest level

Details
Glazgo
Glazgo

Based on our experience in leading professional medical institutions with the help of modern equipment and leading techniques, our ophthalmologists carry out prophylaxis, diagnose and treat eye diseases in patients of different age categories.

Details