How to Do a Snellen Test at Home

The Snellen test is a common method used to assess vision and determine if corrective eyewear is necessary. While it’s typically conducted by trained professionals in a clinical setting, it’s possible to perform an at-home version of the test. By following a few simple steps and using a vision chart, you can help assess your own or your child's visual acuity. To begin, you’ll need to print or purchase a Snellen vision chart. These charts display letters of varying sizes, each corresponding to a specific visual acuity measurement. Once you’ve the chart, securely tape it onto a wall at eye level. Next, position your child's chair approximately ten feet away from the chart. It’s important that your child covers one eye during the test, so ensure they’re comfortable doing so. Adequate lighting is essential for accurate results, so make sure the testing area is well-lit. Encourage your child to read each line of the chart, from top to bottom, and record their responses.

Can You Do Snellen Test Online?

The Snellen Eye Test is a common method used to assess visual acuity. Traditionally, it’s performed in a clinical setting by a doctor or optician. However, with the advancements in technology, it’s now possible to conduct the Snellen test online. This test can be particularly helpful in identifying nearsightedness, a condition that results in blurry distance vision.

The online Snellen test is designed to mimic the traditional chart used in clinics. It typically displays a series of letters or numbers of varying sizes, which should be read from a certain distance. To ensure accurate results, it’s crucial to follow the instructions provided by the online test. This includes maintaining the appropriate distance from the screen and using proper lighting conditions.

If you suspect that you’ve nearsightedness or any other vision-related issues, it’s still recommended to visit your doctor or optician for a thorough evaluation.

These may include a refraction test, where different lenses are placed in front of your eyes to measure the degree of refractive error, and a visual acuity test, utilizing the standard Snellen chart.

The Limitations of Online Vision Tests and the Importance of a Professional Evaluation

  • The accuracy of online vision tests may vary.
  • Some online tests may not assess all aspects of vision health.
  • A professional evaluation by an optometrist or ophthalmologist is crucial for precise diagnosis.
  • An in-person examination allows for comprehensive assessment of eye health, including the detection of underlying conditions.
  • Professional evaluations can identify visual issues that may require specific treatments or interventions.
  • Online tests can’t replicate complex diagnostic procedures performed by eye care professionals.
  • Optometrists and ophthalmologists have the expertise to provide personalized vision care.
  • Regular eye exams by professionals are recommended for maintaining optimal eye health.
  • Online tests may provide initial insights, but they shouldn’t replace professional evaluations.
  • Early detection of eye conditions through professional exams can prevent potential complications and vision loss.

In addition to professional eye exams, there are a few vision tests that can be done at home to monitor changes in your eyesight. These tests can be particularly helpful for detecting conditions like macular degeneration, which can cause blurred vision and other visual abnormalities. Whether you wear glasses for reading or not, it’s recommended to wear them during these self-tests for accurate results.

Can I Test My Own Vision at Home?

To perform the Amsler grid test at home, print out a grid with equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines. Sit in a well-lit area and hold the grid at a comfortable reading distance. Cover one eye and focus on the central dot. Pay attention to any distortion or missing lines in your peripheral vision. Repeat the test for the other eye. Any abnormalities should be promptly reported to your eye doctor.

For distance vision testing, stand approximately 20 feet away from a wall chart or letter chart that utilizes the Snellen chart or the LogMAR chart. Cover one eye and read the letters or numbers on the chart with the uncovered eye. Repeat for the other eye. If you’re unable to read the chart clearly or you notice any significant changes in your vision, it’s advisable to consult with an eye care professional.

Near vision testing can be done with a reading card or a newspaper held at a comfortable reading distance. Cover one eye and read the text with the uncovered eye. Repeat the process for the other eye. If you experience difficulty reading small print or notice any significant changes in your near vision, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment with an eye care specialist.

Although these self-administered tests can provide initial insights into your visual acuity, it’s important to note that they aren’t a substitute for a comprehensive eye examination by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist. A professional eye exam encompasses a wide range of assessments, including visual acuity, refractive error measurement, and examination of the internal structures of the eye. Regular eye exams are crucial to detect and manage potential eye conditions or diseases, and to ensure proper eye health maintenance.

Remember, the tests conducted at home are purely indicative and shouldn’t be relied upon for a definitive diagnosis. If you’re experiencing any changes in your vision, discomfort, or have concerns about your eye health, it’s always best to consult with an eye care professional who can conduct a thorough examination and provide appropriate guidance and treatment.


In conclusion, conducting a Snellen test at home can be a simple and effective way to monitor your child's vision. By obtaining or purchasing a vision chart, taping it on a wall, and positioning your child's chair at the appropriate distance, you can create a suitable testing environment. Asking your child to cover one eye and then reading each line of the chart while properly lighting it ensures accurate results. By repeating the process with the other eye covered, you can gather comprehensive information about your child's eye health. Performing regular at-home eye tests can help identify any potential vision issues early on, allowing for prompt intervention and treatment if necessary.