stairs (left) not blurred easy to see and stairs (right) very blurred and hard to see

Test your contrast sensitivity at home

What is Contrast Sensitivity?

Contrast Sensitivity is your ability to see subtle differences in your field of vision. It allows us to determine the difference between an object on a similar colour background. For example, someone with poor contrast sensitivity may have a hard time reading a newspaper in dim light or finding a dark-coloured wallet in a similar coloured bag.

Why is it important to test your contrast sensitivity?

Life isn’t just black and white. Our eyes must navigate glare, dim lighting, shadows, and various shades of colour. Poor contrast sensitivity can make driving at night or on sunny days difficult. It can also make tasks like seeing the edges of steps, pouring coffee into a dark mug, or reading a newspaper more challenging. Poor contrast sensitivity can be an early  indicator of eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Low contrast sensitivity can also lead to unnecessary falls as the edges of steps and footpaths will not be as clear and visible as they should be.  Being aware of these visual challenges, getting your eyes checked regularly and addressing contrast sensitivity can help maintain healthy vision as we age.

How to test your contrast sensitivity:

Contrast sensitivity test with 10 shapes ranging in opacity on a grey background to test ones contrast sensitivity

  1. Find a dim room.
  2. Hold your device about 30cm away.
  3. Cover one eye and try to name the shapes below from 1 to 10.


Count the number of shapes you were able to see.

  • 7-10 shapes: Good
  • 4-6 shapes: Average
  • 1-3 shapes: Poor

How to Improve Your Contrast Sensitivity:

1. Book an Eye Exam

Always get your eyes checked if you are worried about your vision. Poor contrast sensitivity can be an early sign of a variety of eye disorders or conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. 

2. Rebuild Macular Pigment

Focus on increasing your intake of carotenoid rich foods to rebuild your macular pigment. Foods such as kale, broccoli, spinach, eggs, and corn are all high in lutein and zeaxanthin. Trout is the only natural source of meso-zeaxanthin. Supplementing with MacuPrime will also successfully boost your diet and rebuild macular pigment. 

3. Use Proper Lighting

Ensure good lighting while reading or working to reduce eye strain and improve visibility.

4. Eye Exercises

Practice focusing on objects at different distances to improve the flexibility and responsiveness of your eyes.

Consider making a habit of testing your contrast sensitivity weekly with this quick and easy test. Regular testing helps you stay aware of any slight changes in your vision and can prompt you to schedule a checkup with your eye doctor if you notice any change or deterioration.

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