Assessing visual acuity in primary healthcare


Vision impairment is a significant health concern across Australia and effects a disproportionate number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Regular screening can help with the early detection of abnormalities and enhance the use of effective treatments, such as eyeglasses and/or surgery.

Primary health care providers are responsible for initiating screening through the use of visual acuity assessments. This module aims to help prepare those working in Aboriginal health services to undertake visual acuity assessments by outlining the clinical indications, necessary equipment and steps required to undertake the exam.

This module is part of our short module series, designed to provide a brief overview of the subject matter.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand the indications for a visual acuity assessment.
  • Identify the equipment required to perform a visual acuity assessment.
  • Describe the four steps of a visual acuity assessment including a case history assessment, a distance visual acuity assessment, a near visual acuity assessment, and a check of the external eye.

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