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How to Perform an Eye Exam at Home

By Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017

How to Perform an Eye Exam at Home. Left untreated vision problems could lead to major vision loss and blindness. Although you should schedule regular examinations with an optimotrist, performing an eye exam at home is a valuable resource. Between the visits to the eye doctor, track any changes by following these steps.

Prepare an Home Eye Exam

Rest at least 8 hours per night. Make sure your eyes are rested and free from strain.

Print the distance vision eye exam, the near vision eye exam and the amsler grid test tests using a printer (see Resources below).

Turn on the lights. Vision tests should be completed in a well lit room for best results. Use enough light to see clearly without straining.

Ask someone to assist you. Get a family member or a friend to act as a record keeper. Provide them with paper and pen to write down the results once the vision test is complete.

Take the Distance Vision Eye Test

Find a room over 10 feet long, and choose a wall with no windows or glare. Measure out exactly 10 feet from the wall to use for taking the eye exam. Post with a piece of masking tape to mark the line.

Tape or tack the distance vision eye test to the wall. Place the exam at eye level. Start the distance vision eye test. Stand at the end of the line marked. Keep both eyes open and cover the left eye with your palm or paper cup.

Read the chart from left to right staring from the top left line. Call out every letter you can see. Move on down the line until you can't make out any more letters.

Repeat Steps 5 through 6 with the right eye covered.

Review the results. Compare the number of lines read with normal results. Or compare the results to a recent eye exam given by the eye doctor.

Do a Near Vision Test

Hold the near vision test 14 inches away from your eyes using the right hand and cover the left eye.

Look at the row of "C's" inform assistant of which direction the openings are pointing. Say the sentences aloud to the assistant.

Move chart to left hand and repeat Steps 2 through 3 after covering the right eye. Go over your results. All should have been correct.

Complete the Amsler Grid Eye Test

Follow Step 1 under "Do a Near Vision Test."

Focus your eyes on the dot located in the center of the grid. Use your peripheral vision to notice the grid pattern.

Make sure all lines running both horizontal and vertical appear straight. Mark any areas of the grid that appeared distorted or missing lines with a pen.

Check your results. In standard vision no areas on the grid would be marked.


Print the exams using black ink only on standard printer paper. Keep from studying the charts prior to taking the eye exam to prevent memorizing the information. For adults normal results on the distance vision eye exam range from 20/40 to 20/20. If you were glasses or contacts for distance vision they should be worn during the test. Keep on reading glasses when completing the near distance eye exam if you normally wear them. Remember to use reading glasses for this section if normally worn. If bifocals are worn look through the bottom reading portion.


Do not attempt to self diagnose or treat vision problems. If any of these test show abnormal results contact an eye doctor for an appointment immediately.

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