What is a Visual Efficiency Exam?

A visual efficiency exam is a series of tests that evaluate a patient’s vision skills with particular emphasis on the following:

  • Visual acuity: clarity of sight at distance and near

  • Refractive status: tests to determine whether glasses are needed for myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and/or astigmatism. 

  • Accommodative function: ability of the focusing system to maintain clear vision at various distances.

  • Binocular function: the ability of the two eyes to work efficiently  as a team

  • Oculomotor function: eye tracking ability


Who Might Need a Visual Efficiency Exam?

Generally, a comprehensive eye examination (with dilating drops) performed by your eye care professional is required prior to a VEE. Based on patient's signs and symptoms suggestive of binocular vision, focusing and/or eye tracking problems, a VEE may provide valuable information in diagnosis and treatment.


These symptoms commonly include, but are not limited t​o:

  • Blurred vision after prolonged near work

  • Headache associated with use of the eyes

  • Double vision

  • Eye strain

  • Loss of concentration while performing close work

  • Skipping lines/losing place while reading

  • Words appearing to move around on
    page during reading

  • Closing or squinting one eye while reading

What are typical treatment options?

Your doctor will review the information collected and may recommend any combination of these treatments:

  • Prescription eyeglasses for full time wear

  • Reading-only eyeglasses

  • Eyeglasses with prism (which can help the two eyes to work together more easily)

  • Vision therapy (a program that improves vision skills through a series of prescribed activities)


Types of Visual Efficiency Exams