5 ways to test your eyesight that don't involve driving 30 miles to a castle on your wife's birthday
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Dominic Cummings has enlightened the nation with a brand new way to test your eyesight.

Indeed, if you're unsure whether your eyes are going a little "weird", he recommends you pack your wife and 4 year-old child into a car and take a 30 minute drive to your local castle.

Perhaps an early proponent of this exciting new science was Boris Johnson, who revealed during yesterday's press briefing that he has begun wearing glasses for the "first time in years" since recovering from the virus, which has indeed been linked to a temporary loss of the senses.

It seems that Johnson did already need glasses and has previously said he tries not to wear them as a "point of machismo", but who's to say he hasn't been guided by the brilliant scientific mind of his senior advisor?

Michael Gove has also come out in favour of the driving method. Although he admits that he's not an "authority on driving", he claimed on LBC that he has driven to test his eyesight "on occasion".

But if driving to a local beauty spot in the middle of a pandemic seems a little risky to you, don't worry, because there are other ways to test your eyesight.

Here's our top tips on how to look out for your eyes, even while we're in partial lockdown.

Go and visit an optician

This one seems so obvious now that Dominic Cummings is probably kicking himself!

If you are experiencing serious problems with your eyes, whether they're painful and bloodshot or your vision is impaired, you can phone up your local NHS opticians and ask them whether they're open for appointments.

Many opticians have remained open throughout the pandemic, although they are more likely to see patients with specific problems than for general check-ups. But it's definitely not unreasonable to suggest that Cummings could have booked himself an appointment after he'd isolated for 14 days rather than driving to a castle.

Try reading different-sized lettering

A Snellen chart, as they're officially known, can help you work our your vision's clarity.

If you don't happen to have one of those handy, you could try reading passages out of books with different sized fonts at different distances from your face. This isn't an exact science but it might help you ascertain whether you have a problem with the sharpness of your vision and whether you're near or far-sighted.

Take an online eye test

If you decide to take an online eye test, shop around first for one that looks trustworthy and ideally isn't accompanied by the word "Ad". Also, take the results as a loose guideline, not a conclusive result, until you can get yourself to an NHS eye appointment.

That being said, if you need to test your eyes at a moment's notice – for instance, you suddenly realise you're faced with a 260 mile drive whilst experiencing coronavirus symptoms - an online eye test is an accessible tool to see if your eyes are playing tricks on you.

Get crafty with home eye testing

With a torch, tape measure and printed out test, you can actually give yourself or your child a home eye test as if you were sitting in an optician's.

Just have your patient sit in a chair opposite the test and get them to write down what they see when you flash a torch on each letter. It'll save you a whole lot of money in petrol!

Test your colour vision

If the problems you're noticing with your eyes has more to do with colour than clarity, what you need is an Ishihara colour test.

Try reading the numbers at the centre of these circles and if you can't, you may have daltonism or colour-blindness.

There are lots of ways to test your eyesight cheaply and safely that don't involve Barnard Castle and don't have to take place on your wife's birthday.

If you are having trouble with your eyes you can try to put on an optician's appointment, and if you suspect you are experiencing eye problems as a symptom of Covid-19 you should seek medical attention.

Despite all the options on this list, really a professional is the only one who can tell you how good or bad your eyesight is.

And you shouldn't get in the car and drive as a way of testing your eyesight.

Because what if you fail the test? That's putting you, and others, at risk.

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