What happens during the eye clinic assessment for a certification of vision impairment (CVI)?

The Opthalmologist (eye doctor) will decide whether you meet the criteria for certification by measuring your:

  • Visual acuity – your central vision, the vision you use to see detail.
  • Visual field – how much you can see around the edge of your vision, while looking straight ahead.

Your visual acuity is measured by reading down an eye chart while wearing any glasses or contact lenses that you may need, so remember to take them to your appointment. The test for visual acuity is known as a Snellen test. Your field of vision is measured by a “visual field test”. There are guidelines about the level of sight needed to be registered severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted).

The consultant may do other tests to check your eye health. This could mean they use drops to dilate (open) your pupils, which can blur your vision for a few hours afterwards. So you may want to have someone with you to help you home after the appointment.

After the ophthalmologist has assessed your vision and your eyes, they will decide if you are eligible for your sight loss to be certified. The consultant can certify you as either severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted) by completing the Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) in England and Wales. 

If your sight is affecting your ability to drive safely, you need to inform the DVLA on 0300 790 6806.

For information on CVIs and criteria for certification see What is a certificate of vision impairment (CVI)? and What is the eye sight criteria for a certificate of vision impairment (CVI)?

For information on registration see What is registration? and How do I register as sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind)?

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