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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Visual Impairment: Diagnosis & Tests

Visual Impairment

Alternate Names : Impaired Vision

Visual Impairment | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

How is the condition diagnosed?

The role of the healthcare provider and eye specialist is to help determine the cause of visual impairment. This may be possible after a complete history and physical exam. First, the healthcare provider will ask about the eyes, any vision problems, and general health. Next, he or she will test the eye muscles to see if eye movements are normal. Peripheral vision, or the ability to see out of the side of the eyes, can be tested as well.

Often, the healthcare provider will put special eye drops into the eyes that cause the pupils to open wider, or dilate. When the pupils are wide open, the provider can get a better view of the inside of the eyes with a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope. The pressure inside the eyeball can be measured to test for glaucoma.

After the eyeballs have been examined, the person is then asked to read a standard eye chart to determine how well the person can see or to check the visual acuity.

Other tests may also be needed in some cases.

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Visual Impairment: Symptoms & Signs


Visual Impairment: Prevention & Expectations

Author: Karen Preston, PHN, MS, CRRN
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/01/01

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