11 Jul DIY (Do It Yourself) Eye test for children & Adults
An eye test is a basic level of diagnosis that should be done on regular intervals for your healthy eyes, but during these unprecedented times of Covid-19 the basic eye test can be done at your home. Though Home eye testing is not a substitute for a complete medical eye examination by an ophthalmologist and it will not be as accurate as done with supervision of an ophthalmologist but it could help you diagnose if any professional help is required.
The idea behind regular eye checkups is to identify the problems at early stages so that they can be treated early.
Note : Children under age 3 should have their eyes tested by an ophthalmologist.
Things you need for a DIY Eye / Vison test :
- Something to cover the eye, a paper cup or tissue (that can be used on face).
- Tape or tack to hang the test chart on the wall.
- A pencil or pen to note the results.
- Ameasuring tape, or ruler.
- A flashlight, if available.
- A well-lighted room at least 10 feet long.
- The correct testing chart.
Preparing the testing area:
- Select the correct test chart (child’s or adult’s) and print it out.
- When printed, the largest letter at the top of the chart should be just under an inch (23 mm) tall.
- Measure 10 feet from a wall with no windows, and place a chair at this point.
- Tape or pin the chart on the bare wall, level with the eyes of the person you will test as he or she sits in the chair.
Testing a Child (Age 3 or Older)
To engage the child, create situation like you are playing a game for example: a “pointing game.” Using the practice E card, show him or her how to point in the same direction that the E is “pointing.” Turn the practice E in the four different directions (up, down, right, left). You may hold the practice card as close as the child wants until he or she can point in the four directions without help.
- Have your child sit in the chair 10 feet from the chart, holding the cover over one eye without applying any pressure. Do not let the child peek. A second person may be needed to hold the cover in place and watch for peeking. If your child wears glasses, he or she should wear them during the test.
- If the chart seems too dark to see clearly, use the flashlight to illuminate the test letters.
- Point at each of the Es, starting with the largest. Have your child point in the direction the E is pointing.
- Write down the number of the smallest line your child can correctly see (more than half of the Es correctly identified).
- Then repeat the test with the other eye covered. If your child is tired, you may wish to test the other eye at a different time.
Testing an Adult or Older Child
- Have the person being tested sit in the chair, 10 feet from the chart. Make sure the chart is level with his or her eyes.
- Have the person being tested cover one eye. If he or she uses eyeglasses for distance vision, the glasses should be worn during the test.
- Shine the flashlight on each line of the chart, while the person you are testing reads the letters out loud. Continue to the bottom row or until the letters are too difficult for the person to see.
- Write down the number of the smallest line seen correctly (the line with more than half of the letters correctly identified).
- Now repeat the test with the other eye covered and record the results.
Normal Scores for Home Eye Testing
A child should be able to see the 20/40 line by age 3 or 4 and the 20/30 line by age 5. If you test your child several times on different days and your child cannot see the expected line of print or cannot see the same line with each eye, he or she may have an eye problem. You should have your child evaluated by a physician.
An older child or adult should be reading the 20/20 line. You should arrange for a medical eye examination by an ophthalmologist if there are abnormal results.
Home Vision Test Results
Record the results of your home screening by filling in the number of the smallest line the person could read for each line below. If the test results indicate that you or your child needs to see an ophthalmologist, take the numbers you wrote down with you.
Home Visual Acuity Screening right eye (20/…..) left eye (20/…)
Download Home Eye Testing Charts
(Courtesy American Academy of Ophthalmology)
- Single E Practice Card (PDF)
- Children’s Home Eye Test Chart (PDF)
- Adult’s Home Eye Test Chart (PDF)
Inspired by American Academy of Ophthalmology