Snellen charts in an electronic age: is there a better way?

11 May 2016
Volume 17, Issue 2

Eye care practitioners are now in a position to provide robust measurement of visual acuity (and other visual metrics) with technology from the modern age.


Snellen charts have been the mainstay of distance visual acuity measurement for over 150 years, but their irregular separation between lines and letters and varying number of letters on lines make them non-ideal for accurate measurement. The Bailey–Lovie logMAR design principles overcome these issues, but the resulting large size of these charts has resulted in poor adoption in clinical practice. In the electronic age, computer monitors have the resolution to display logMAR charts with the advantage of features such as letter randomisation and letter isolation. Not until recent tablets and smartphones were developed has commercially available technology had the resolution required for full near-vision testing.

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