Macular Society
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Hi there, during my eye clinic appointment when I got my eye test, my left eye didn't do so well. I could only make out the large letters, the smaller ones weren't so clear, but when the nurse put the part with the holes in it down over my eye I could make out the first line below the large letters slightly better. Can anyone tell me what that meant, if anything. I'm not very good at explaining things, sorry.

9 Replies

Dear sal2,

It may be wise to ring the ophthalmologist's secretary and pose the question. They should be able to clarify both the function of the test and what it means in relation to your eyes.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss this further.

Our helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 0300 3030 111.

Kind regards,

1 like

Thank you Rosalyn, it was just the fact that I could see the chart a bit better when I was looking through the holes.  Take care.


Hi there I know the answer to this one . So when you have your eyes tested using the large hole,  light entering can get scattered and not focused on the centre of where it needs to be on the retina (the fovea). The  pin holes ( as in the tiny holes you looked through ) forces the light to be directly targeted where it needs to be for clear sharp vision and therefore not scattered and  because of this the letters become clearer and you can see more. You can sort of get the same effect by making a tiny circle with your fingers curled up and looking through the tiny hole. Hope this makes sense and helps . Take care 


Hi there thank you for your reply, I think I understand what you mean. So what does this tell them, if anything about your vision in that eye, because they didn't do that with the right eye. Thanks again. Take care.


Hi there again . Do you wear glasses? Did u see better with the right eye do you think? 


Hi sorry to take so long. I do wear glasses, I have and in both eyes, but the right eye is not as bad. I did see better with the right eye. I'm sorry to take up your time, I do appreciate it. Thank you. Take care.


Hi there, no worries about taking up my time happy to help where I can . Ok so it all makes sense (as far as I understand) as to why they tried the pin holes basically because your left eye was not so good they were just checking that your prescription for your glasses is basically ok. If you saw a lot better through pin holes it can indicate you need a different prescription that is all . I am not an opthalmogist but do know and understand some of the reasons behind things such as in your case. Again take care and always ask questions here someone can generally help . 


Hi again, I really do appreciate all your help. It's great to have people to talk to that understand. I did wonder if I would need to get new glasses. My optician didn't mention it, but she was probably waiting to see how I got on at the clinic. Once again thank you, and I wish you all the best. Take care.


I question that also and don't know the answer


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