The monitor in your practice determines the results of your testing, especially when displaying small optotypes, contrast accuracy and color correctness. Because it’s such an important aspect of your testing, it’s critical to make the right choice between a large or small screen, polarized or normal, and the maximum attainable resolution. Both of these have advantages and disadvantages you should take into account when making your choice.
When you need to display small optotypes, your screen should provide a clear and crisp display, and a small monitor is adequate for this purpose. A smaller monitor with a high refresh rate and a high resolution will display with far greater clarity than its larger counterpart with low resolution.
However, when you want to show videos and education media, a large screen would be more suitable. On larger monitors you can also display bigger optotypes for low vision patients as well as more lines of the chart at a time. With larger monitors you can also test VA and astigmatism without having to switch charts, because you can present optotypes of all sizes at the top of the screen, while displaying an astigmatism target at the bottom of the screen.
In addition to size, you need to decide if you want a screen with a polarized filter. Polarized monitors with passive glasses are useful for testing stereo acuity. Prism testing is also more comfortable for the patient, with polarized image separation than with color separation.
These are just some of the factors you need to take into account when you consider which screen is the best for your practice.
Mirrored setup in small testing rooms
In small testing rooms, you want to use a system which can be set up to use a mirrored option. For short lanes, with a patient viewing a mirrored image of the computer monitor (which is placed behind the head of the patient), software needs to allow for all images to be flipped for correct viewing. When this option is used, it’s important that the charts on the repeater monitor don’t get flipped too – the doctor will need to view the monitor in normal mode.