What Is A Low Vision Exam?

A low vision exam is different from a normal eye exam given by an optometrist. This exam, usually provided by an optometrist or ophthalmologist who specializes in low vision, is used to determine how the visual impairment affects daily life and prescribes tools to enhance remaining vision. Instead of using a standard eye chart, the low vision specialist will use portable charts and a device called a “trial frame” that is worn like a pair of glasses to measure visual ability.

Questions the specialist may ask relate to how a person sees in certain situations – going from light to dark, traveling at night, ability to see faces, etc. Questions concerning one’s ability to manage everyday tasks like dressing, cooking, or reading may also be asked to determine level of function so recommendations can be made for specific tools to manage these tasks. The low vision specialist will also provide training on magnification devices prescribed to ensure proper use and maximize their effectiveness.

VisionAware has a detailed description of a low vision exam and questions to prepare ahead of time for the doctor visit.