Slit-Lamp Vision Test

Norm of Slit-Lamp Vision Test



Usage of Slit-Lamp Vision Test

Detection of conjunctivitis, corneal abrasions, iritis, and opacities. Useful after bone-marrow transplantation to monitor clients for cataracts acquired secondary to chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as to monitor for hemorrhage secondary to thrombocytopenia.


Description of Slit-Lamp Vision Test

The slit lamp is a special microscopic instrument with a lighting system that allows detailed visualization of the anterior segment of the eye. Slit-lamp vision testing involves visualization of the anterior chamber, conjunctiva, cornea, crystalline lens, eyelashes, eyelids, iris, sclera, tear film, and vitreous face and evaluation of ocular fluid and tissue size and shape by using a slit-lamp light source.


Professional Considerations of Slit-Lamp Vision Test

Consent form NOT required.

Allergic reaction to eye drops (itching, hives, rash, tight feeling in the throat, shortness of breath, anaphylaxis).
Allergy to mydriatic eye drops; narrow-angle glaucoma.



  1. Remove contact lenses and glasses.



  1. The client is positioned sitting upright with the chin resting on a chin rest and the forehead touching the forehead bar of the slit-lamp instrument.
  2. The client is instructed to gaze into the eye of the microscope as the examiner examines the eye from the other side of the microscope.
  3. Pupillary dilation drops may be needed, such as in iritis.


Postprocedure Care

  1. See Client and Family Teaching.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. If dilatory drops are used, vision will be blurred for up to 2 hours. The client should bring sunglasses to wear after the test. The client should not drive or operate machinery during this time.
  2. The test takes 10 minutes and is painless.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Inability of the client to remain still during the examination prevents proper examination.


Other Data

  1. Three other slit-lamp procedures may be used: fluorescein staining to detect scratches on the cornea or conjunctiva; Hruby lens to better visualize the posterior vitreous and retina; and gonioscopy, where a special contact lens eliminates the corneal curve so that glaucoma testing can be performed.