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How to Test Eye Vision

By Edriaan Koening ; Updated July 27, 2017

For a complete vision test, you need to visit a health care provider, but you can conduct several simple tests at home. The most common eyesight test, the visual acuity test, measures your ability to see details at distances. The Amsler grid test checks whether you have a condition known as macular degeneration, which prevents you from seeing objects in the center of your visual field. The dominant-eye test determines which eye looks directly at objects. The non-dominant eye looks at objects at a slight angle, providing depth perception.

Snellen Test

Hang the Snellen chart on the wall. It contains several rows of letters with numbers at the end of each row. The letters become smaller as they descend the chart.

Stand 20 feet away from the chart. Wear your contact lens or glasses to determine your corrected vision or remove them to check your natural vision.

Close one eye and read through each row until you reach the last one you can decipher. Repeat the test using the other eye.

When you can't read any more letters, record the number at the end of the row. Do this for each eye. If you have perfect vision, you will get a 20/20 result. The first number represents your distance from the chart and the second number represents the distance from which a normal eye can read the same letters. For example, if your result says 20/40, it means that you can see the same objects from 20 feet that someone with perfect vision could see from 40 feet.

Dominant Eye Test

Extend your arm and, with both eyes open, use your index finger to point at an object that is at least 20 feet away.

Use your other hand to cover one eye while focusing on the object.

Cover the other eye while keeping your arm extended and pointing at the object. With one eye, the pointing finger will appear to move off of the object. With the other eye, it will stay on the object. When your pointing finger stays on the object, you are using your dominant eye.

Amsler Grid Test

Turn on the lights in the room.

Put on your reading glasses if you usually wear them.

Place the Amsler grid chart about 14 inches away from your face. The chart consists of a four-inch square with straight lines that form small boxes inside and a black dot in the center box.

Cover one eye and focus your other eye on the black dot. Repeat with the other eye. Contact your health care provider if you can't see the black dot, if you see other dark spots or if the lines appear wavy, blurred or curved. These are signs of macular degeneration.

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