Tumbling E Chart

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Table Of Contents

Today we would like to learn more about the Tumbling E chart. 

  • We will learn what the Tumbling E chart is
  • What the Tumbling E chart is used for,
  • Differences are between the Tumbling E chart and the Snellen chart,
  • Who uses this chart, and
  • How to use the Tumbling E chart.

To finish the article, we will do it with a downloadable and printable PDF Tumbling E chart.

What Is The Tumbling E Chart?

The Tumbling E eye chart, E Chart or Snellen E Optotype Chart, is an optotype chart containing only the letter E, pointing in different 90-degree positions (up, down, right, or left).

What is the Tumbling E chart used for?

The Tumbling E chart measures visual acuity and works similarly and under the same principles as the Snellen chart.

These visual acuity charts are part of a complete vision test, as they do not measure other important aspects of vision, such as contrast perception, color perception, depth perception, or peripheral vision.

They also do not measure visual health in case of problems with the macula or retina, eye pressure, or glaucoma, for example.

Let’s remind ourselves that visual acuity charts are only a part of the visual examination, although very important to know how sharp our vision is. It is not enough to have 20/20 visual acuity.

What is the difference between the Tumbling E chart and the Snellen chart?

As we saw in the article: Visual Acuity Test – Snellen Test, the Snellen chart has several rows of optotypes of different letters, which decrease as we go down each line.

The Tumbling E chart is composed only of the optotype of the capital letter E, also in a decreasing direction each time we go down a row of the chart.

Who Uses The E Table?

The Tumbling E Chart is handy for use with patients who cannot read the Latin alphabet because they speak a language with a different alphabet, such as Arabic, Japanese, or Chinese, among others, or they do not speak the same language and/or cannot express themselves in words.

Also, the letter E chart can be used with children who have not yet learned the letters and people with some physical or mental disability.

The person taking the test simply points to the direction in which the letter E is pointing. Sometimes, samples of the letters can be provided, and the person taking the test has to place the E letters in the same position/direction as the E on the chart.

Typically, this eye chart is used when the Snellen chart is inappropriate for the patient, as in the cases just mentioned.

How to use the Tumbling E chart?

Below, you will find a downloadable PDF file with the Tumbling E chart to perform the test at home and the necessary explanation to use it.

It is essential to respect the distance we place ourselves from the board to perform the test correctly and remember to put our glasses or contact lenses on to complete the test and cover one eye at a time.

To know everything you need to know to perform a visual acuity test at home, we recommend reading our article Snellen Test At Home, first.