Clinical Case Database / Category: Practical Procedure
Assessing visual acuity
Dr James Bacon, Dr Alexander Foss, Dr. Neeru Dhillon
Foundation Years Journal, volume 4, issue 6, p.20 (123Doc Education, London, June 2010)
Assessing visual acuity is an aspect of ophthalmology which is commonly misunderstood. The following article demonstrates how to approach a patient with impaired vision including taking a history, assessing near and distance vision, and how to understand and interpret the results. The ability to accurately assess a patient's visual acuity is an essential skill for all doctors. To assess renal function, one would routinely test blood, urea and electrolyte levels. There is, however, no blood test for the eye and visual acuity is the most sensitive method to ascertain ocular function.
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Dr James Bacon
Diana Princess of Wales Hospital
Dr Alexander Foss
Dr. Neeru Dhillon
Queen Medical Centre
1. http://research.dwp.gov.uk/medical/med_conditions/images/ snellen_visual_acuity_chart.jpg
2. Elkington AR. Frank HJ. Greaney MJ. (1999) Clinical Optics 3rd edn.
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When reporting experiments on human subjects, the Journal requires authors to indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the HelsinkiDeclaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.
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The Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database is a selection of 600 peer-reviewed clinical cases in the field of patient safety and clinical practice, specifically focused on the clinical information needs of junior doctors, based around the Foundation Year Curriculum programme (MMC). The cases have been chosen to align with the Foundation Year Curriculum.
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