How To Take An At Home Eye Exam

Author
Jordana Neeman
November 11, 2020

As we get older, especially over 40 years of age, vision can start to deteriorate. It’s important to be aware of even the slightest changes in your vision as it may be the early signs of more serious vision problems.

Please note that an at home vision test is always a good way to start to check if you have any problems however it CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT replace the type of medical examination you would receive from an eye doctor with proper equipment and expertise.

elmiron vision loss test

Although it is normal for vision to start to change as we get older there are people who may suffer from vision damage for unnatural reasons, such as a harmful side-effect of medication.

The Elmiron Lawsuit

An important example of this is the current Elmiron Lawsuit taking place. This popular bladder medication has now been shown to cause serious vision problems that are very similar to Age Related Macular Degeneration.

The vision damage due to Elmiron usage is a unique type of eye toxicity called Pigmentary Maculopathy however, the symptoms are so similar to AMD that it can be mistaken.

Popular symptoms of Pigmentary Maculopathy include:

  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty adapting to dim lighting or darkness
  • Vision disturbances or distorted vision
  • Dimming Vision
  • Difficulty seeing objects that are close
  • Eye pain

If you took this medication it is important that you get your eyes examined by an eye doctor. However for those reluctant or who don’t have as much time, doing an at home eye exam is a good place to start just to get a sense of what is going on with your vision.


To do an at home eye exam please prepare everything you need and follow the steps instructed below to test your vision.

Before you do the test make sure you have everything needed to administer the test:

  • Something to cover the eye (facial tissue, cup, cloth)
  • Tape or tack to hang the test  on the wall.
  • A pen/pencil and paper to record results
  • A tape measure, or ruler to measure the room distance
  • A well-light room at least 10 feet long.
  • The printed testing chart.

How To Administer an At Home Vision Test

  1. Print the free eye chart and then tape or Tack the paper to a windowless wall in a well-lit room at eye level
  2. Measure ten feet from the wall and sit at that spot
  3. Cover one eye (if you wear glasses for distance vision, keep them on)
  4. Have another person help and point to each line as you read the letters aloud and keep track of which letters are correct
  5. Continue to the bottom row or until you can no longer read any of the letters on a line
  6. Write down the number of the smallest line where you identified the majority of letters correctly (Ex. If you were able to read 5 out of 8 letters on line 7, you would write 20/20.)
  7. Cover the other eye and repeat steps 5-7

What Do The Results Mean?

Record the results of your home test by filling in the number of the smallest line you could  read on the test for each eye. All adults should be able to read the 20/20 line clearly. If you have any abnormal results you should arrange for a medical eye examination by an ophthalmologist and take the results from your test with you.

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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