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Vision Tests and Thermography

Do you wear eyeglasses? Maybe you are used to going to the eye doctor annually and occasionally needing to update your prescription.    What you may not know is that, regardless if you wear eye glasses or corrective lenses, all adults, even those who have never needed glasses, have vision that begins to deteriorate with age.   The condition that makes our vision deteriorate is called presbyopia and it is caused by a hardening of the lens within our eyes.  It usually starts around the age of 40 and progresses slowly from there.

The onset of presbyopia can have an impact on your ability to perform high quality thermographic inspections as well.  If your eyes can’t clearly focus on the camera’s view screen, any adjustment you make to the image focus is going to be off. As many of us have learned in Level I training, focus is the most important foundational element of image quality as well as temperature measurement.  When your image focus is off, your image quality is poor and your temperature measurement is impacted.  Focus is essential in thermography.

Eye Chart









Luckily, we have a built in mechanism for checking our ability to see our camera’s view screen.  Most cameras have graphics that show up on the view screen.  A helpful hint: If those letters aren’t nice and sharp to your eyes, your near vision is off and your image focus will also be off. That’s something you want to correct sooner rather than later.

We recommend annual vision tests, such as the Jaeger vision test for thermographers.  It might be in the best interest of your program to include this recommendation in the written practice document of your thermography program.  There are a number of viable options out there for improving your near vision.  Many optical shops offer prescription safety glasses options. A number of safety glasses manufacturers have products that are normal safety glasses except for a small portion at the bottom of the lens where a magnifier is installed to assist in up-close reading.  Several products are rated in magnification powers just like over-the-counter reading glasses.  Those might be just enough correction to make a difference in your image quality.

Stay on top of your vision with an annual eye test, especially after 40 years of age.  Your camera can see clearly but the question is, can you?


Think Thermally,
The Snell Group, a Fluke Thermal Imaging Blog content partner

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