What is one eye chart?

During an eye test, eye medical professionals use eye charts come measure her vision in ~ a set distance and compare it through other person beings.

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Eye doctors can use various eye test charts for various patients and also situations. The 3 most common eye charts are:

Snellen eye chart

"Tumbling E" eye chart

Jaeger eye chart

We've contained a link to download your really own eye graph after each ar below. You deserve to print this charts and test your vision ideal in your very own home.

Snellen eye chart

The standard example of one eye test is the Snellen eye chart, developed by netherlands eye medical professional Hermann Snellen in the 1860s.


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How a Snellen chart and also a "tumbling E" chart can look at her eye doctor's office.


Today, over there are countless variations the the Snellen test. Many of castle include:

11 rows of resources letters.

A height row with just one letter, regularly a big "E." other letters can likewise be used.

Lower rows that additionally contain letters, but get significantly smaller.

During one eye exam, your eye physician will ask you to find the smallest line of letters you deserve to read, then ask girlfriend to review it. If you have the right to read the bottom heat of letters, your visual acuity (sharpness) is an extremely good.

Download a Snellen eye chart

"Tumbling E" eye chart

Sometimes eye medical professionals can't usage a traditional Snellen eye chart. In these situations, the doctor might use a alteration of the Snellen test dubbed a "tumbling E" chart.

This test may be offered in the adhering to scenarios:

A young son is having actually an eye test and either doesn't understand the alphabet or is also shy to check out letters aloud.

The patient has a handicap that makes it daunting or impossible to recognize letters or review them aloud.

The patient can not read.

The tumbling E chart functions the exact same scale as a conventional Snellen eye chart, other than all personalities on the chart space a funding letter "E," rotated in different increments that 90 degrees.

During a tumbling E test, the eye medical professional will asking the human being being experiment to use either hand (with their fingers extended) to display which direction the "fingers" of the E are pointing: right, left, up or down.

Studies have shown that the dimensions taken using a tumbling E chart space virtually the same as the measurements from a conventional Snellen eye chart.

Download a "tumbling E" eye chart


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A Jaeger eye chart contains several block of progressively larger text and also is offered to test close to vision.


A Jaeger eye chart deserve to be provided in two various ways, relying on what your eye doctor is trying to measure:

The graph is hosted at a specific reading distance (such together 14 inches) and you space asked to check out the passage with the smallest type you have the right to see.

The graph is relocated forward and earlier until you room able to check out a certain type size.

There have been several modifications of the Jaeger graph (or "Jaeger card") by different manufacturers because its creation in 1867. Modern-day Jaeger charts room not standardized, so the letter sizes on different Jaeger cards have the right to vary slightly.

The font size on a contemporary Jaeger eye graph usually ranges from J10 (about 14-point type in Times new Roman font) come J1 (about 3-point form in Times brand-new Roman). Some Jaeger charts have secondary paragraph labeling J1+ that might be even smaller than the J1 block the text.

The J1 i on a Jaeger card is usually thought about the near vision identical of 20/20 vision top top a street eye chart. On some Jaeger cards, the J1+ paragraph is the 20/20 equivalent.

Download a Jaeger eye chart

What does "20/20" median in an eye test?

20/20 vision is thought about "normal" vision. It way that, while standing 20 feet away, you deserve to read a letter that most people should have the ability to read native 20 feet.

In the united States, the typical placement that the eye chart is top top a wall that's 20 feet far from her eyes. However, because many eye doctors have offices shorter than 20 feet long, the eye chart may hang behind the patient chair and also reflect onto winter to simulate a street of 20 feet.

Eye charts can be configured in various ways. Generally, if you can read the huge "E" in ~ the top of the chart, yet none of the letters reduced than that, your vision is taken into consideration 20/200.

20/200 vision means that you can read a letter in ~ 20 feet that people with "normal" vision can read at 200 feet. This means that your visual acuity is an extremely poor.

In the joined States:

You must have actually at the very least 20/40 vision after vision convey to obtain a driver's license.

The 20/20 line of letters is usually fourth from the bottom, v 20/15, 20/10 and also 20/5 listed below that.

Not numerous humans have 20/10 vision or better, however some animals do. It's thought that many birds that prey have 20/5 acuity — or better.

Eye chart limitations

Since eye charts only measure intuitive sharpness, castle can aid your eye doctor number out whether you require prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. They can also aid your regional Department of motor Vehicles identify who needs corrective lenses to drive and who shouldn't drive because of legal blindness.

But eye charts don't measure her peripheral vision, depth perception, shade vision or capacity to consciousness contrast. Lock can't screen things prefer eye press or the condition of your retinas.

This is why, as crucial as eye charts are, they remain just one ingredient of a finish eye exam.

Take our at-home vision quiz

Adam Debrowski also contributed come this article.


Field overview to Visual and also Ophthalmic Optics. Schwiegerling, J. SPIE Press. 2004.

Can Jaeger numbers be standardized. ARVO annual Meeting abstract, Investigative Ophthalmology & intuitive Science. may 2007.

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Theory and also Practice of Optics and also Refraction. Khurana, AK. Elsevier India. 2008.