Distance vision test for adults

This test will measure your distance vision in each eye.

Before you take this test, you should know the difference between an eye check or test and an eye exam done by an eye doctor. This test does NOT replace regular eye exams.

What you will need: ► What you will need: ▼

  • a well-lit room a minimum of 10 feet long
  • an assistant, if possible
  • a paper cup
  • tape
  • pencil
  • ruler or tape measure

Note about printers: ► Note about printers: ▼

This test requires you to print the HOTV chart. The appearance of your printed chart may vary depending on the printer you are using. We have provided a one inch scale reference at the bottom of the chart. In order to get valid eye test results, the scale square should be one inch. Please measure to make sure. If your chart won't print correctly, contact Prevent Blindness America, and we will send you a copy of the HOTV chart.

Instructions ► Instructions ▼

1. Print the HOTV chart. (You will need Adobe Reader to print the eye chart. Adobe Reader is a free program. If you do not have it installed on your computer, you can download it here.)

2. Tape the first page of the chart to a bare wall with no windows. The chart should be at your eye level.

3. Measure 10 feet away and place a strip of masking tape on the floor. Stand with your heels on the tape.

4. If you already have glasses for distance vision, wear them during the test.

5. Hold the cup over your left eye.

6. Read each of the letters from left to right starting with the largest line. Have your assistant write down the letters that you read. If you don't have an assistant, you should write the letters as you see them.

7. Continue moving through the chart to the smallest letter you are able to read with the right eye.

8. Check what you wrote down. You pass a line when you can correctly read at least 3 out of 5 letters.

9. Write down the lowest line on the chart that you passed.

10. Repeat the same steps with the right eye covered.

11. Write down the lowest line on the chart that you passed with your left eye.

What the results mean ► What the results mean ▼

Adults should be able to read the 20/40 line with each eye. If you did not pass the test, PBA recommends that you see an eye doctor for a complete eye exam.

You passed the test if:

You passed the 20/40, 20/32 or 20/20 line in each eye.

You should see an eye doctor for an eye exam if:

You were unable to pass the 20/40 line with either eye.