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Virtual Eye Appointments

Like many of our specialties, Atrius Health visual services is now offering virtual video visits with our eye doctors for select eye conditions. Examples of conditions that we are evaluating through virtual visits include:

  • Eyelid lesions (e.g., stye, rash, etc.)
  • Red eye
  • Itchy eye
  • Dry eye
  • Common pediatric ophthalmic conditions such as strabismus (eye turn) and amblyopia (lazy eye)

You can learn more about how video visits work and how to schedule an appointment by visiting our Virtual Care page. Once you have scheduled a video visit appointment, you will receive general instructions about your visit in your MyHealth account.

Additionally for an eye care video visit, the provider you’re scheduled with may want to understand and assess your visual acuity, or how clearly you can see at certain distances. Therefore, below is a visual acuity chart and instructions to help you assess your own vision on the day of your video visit. The provider may also ask you to have a magazine or reading material nearby to help them test your vision as part of their evaluation.

Although virtual visits do not replace a full in-office eye exam, telehealth provides an opportunity for a providers to connect with you and offer advice on initial treatment and follow-up.

Snellen Eye Chart

Home use of this Snellen eye chart, provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, will help you determine the clarity of your distance vision. This can be useful to screen children for nearsightedness, which causes blurry distance vision. The chart also can help you determine if you meet the legal visual acuity requirement for a valid driver’s license (20/40 in most states).


Please print this chart so that the width of the big E should measure 1.5 inches. For the best accuracy (and to prevent memorization), have someone assist you when testing your vision with this eye chart. If you use eyeglasses or contact lenses for driving or other distance vision tasks, wear them during the test.

1.   Place the chart on a wall or easel 10 feet away.

2.   Cover one eye with your hand, a large spoon or some other item that completely blocks the vision of the covered eye. (Do not apply pressure to the covered eye, as it might affect that eye’s vision when you test it.)

3.   Identify a line on the chart you can comfortably read. Read the letters on that line aloud. Have your assistant stand near the chart and record your accuracy.

4.   Continue trying to read the letters on each successively smaller line. Do not squint.

5.   Have your assistant stop you when you fail to correctly identify at least 50 percent of the letters on a line.

6.   Switch to the other eye and repeat.

Record your visual acuity for each eye by noting the line for which you correctly identified either:

a)   More than half the letters on that line, but not all of them.

b)   All letters on that line, plus a few letters (less than half) on the next line.


Eye charts measure only visual acuity, which is just one component of good vision. They cannot determine if your eyes are "working overtime" (i.e., needing to focus more than normal, which can lead to headaches and eye strain), nor can they determine if your eyes work properly as a team for clear, comfortable binocular vision and accurate depth perception.

Eye charts also cannot detect serious eye problems such as glaucoma or early diabetic retinopathy that could lead to serious vision impairment and even blindness.

Only a comprehensive eye exam performed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist can determine if your eyes are healthy and you are seeing as clearly and comfortably as possible.