During eye examinations, I can remember to measure near reading visual acuity with both eyes together but forget to measure monocular reading visual acuity. The senior clinician in my practice has mentioned this to me several times and I have to get better at this. How can I remember to measure monocular reading visual acuity each and every examination?

When it comes to undertaking all the relevant tests and writing down the results good habits need to be formed. A well-established way of forming a good habit is habit stacking. A new habit can be built by identifying a current habit that is already done during an eye examination and then the new behaviour (test) stopped on top of the one that is already performed. The habit stacking formula is: After [CURRENT HABIT (or TEST)], I will [NEW HABIT (or TEST)].

This can be applied to any test in an eye examination. The problem here is with measuring monocular near visual acuity. So using the habit stacking formula:

After [CURRENT HABIT], give patient near reading card and ask them to read the smallest print they can manage with both eyes together, I will [FIRST NEW HABIT], pick up an occluder (e.g. a cover test paddle), then I will [SECOND NEW HABIT] cover over each eye in turn to determine monocular near print size, and then I will [THIRD NEW HABIT], pick up a tape measure and measure the distance from the plane of the patient’s face to the page of print.

Developing this habit will benefit the patient as conditions which affect the macular such as age-related macular degeneration sometimes cause a reduction in reading visual acuity while distance visual acuity remains in the normal range.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

If you like EyeTools Questions of the Day…

Children’s Eye Examinations
How to Run a Successful Low Vision Clinic
How to Run a Successful Optometry Practice

EyeTools.Education

 

NEW WEBINARS ADDED REGULARLY – this is for:
– Optometry students
– Pre-registration and novice optometrists
– Optometrists returning to work
– Junior eye doctors
– Dispensing opticians and orthoptists preparing for refraction exams
– Contact lens opticians, clinical assistants and eyecare educators

Improve your optometry skills with introductory & specialist instruction videos, topical live & recorded expert webinars, presentations and book reviews.

Start with the first section, ‘Pre-refraction procedures’ free, then choose a monthly or yearly subscription. To see English captions, click the CC button on any video.