Patient Education

Vision Tests

Other Tests

The doctor will ask you to focus on a near target (most likely his/her finger) and follow it as he/she traces a broad letter "H." This tests the ability of your eyes to follow the target. It will indicate any problem with the nerve supply to your eye muscles or problems with the muscles themselves.


This is another exam used to survey your visual system. A light beam will be directed at and away from your eye to observe if your pupils constrict and dilate as expected.

Cover test

The first part of this test is the unilateral cover test. While wearing your corrective eyewear, you will be asked to focus on a letter of the distance eye chart. Normally, with both eyes open, both should be aimed at the point of interest. The optometrist will then cover your right eye while watching for a movement of the left eye. Upon removing the occluder, the optometrist will wait for a few seconds to allow your eyes to return to equilibrium, then proceed by covering the left eye. If the uncovered eye moves to fixate the target, that eye was not being used. This is referred to as a strabismus. The alternating cover test is very similar to the unilateral cover test, but the occluder is switched from one eye to the next. If the eye just uncovered moves, this is called a phoria: in the resting position both eyes are not aimed at the target. Consequently, you must use effort to keep both eyes fixated on the target. This can cause eye strain and headaches. Prisms in your spectacles or visual training may be required.

New point of convergence

The purpose of this test is to inspect your ability to converge your eyes. The practitioner will ask you to focus on a near target. There is a normal range at which you should be able to see a single target. As it is brought closer and closer to your nose, you will be asked when you first see two targets.