Visual field testing is an important part of most standard comprehensive eye exams. Also known as “perimetry testing,” it is a method to measure a patient’s entire scope of vision, including their peripheral/side vision.
Visual field testing is one of the most effective diagnostic treatments in the detection of glaucoma. When patients are affected by glaucoma, the condition usually affects their peripheral vision first. However, visual field testing can also be used to detect central or peripheral retinal diseases, eyelid conditions such as drooping, optic nerve damage, and conditions that affect the visual pathways from the optic nerve to the area of the brain where this information is processed into vision.
Visual field testing is also an essential part of monitoring for people who are considered to be at risk for vision loss from disease and other problems, including those who have been diagnosed with the following:
A variety of methods can be used to perform visual field testing, including:
Static automated perimetry
A machine is used to quantify how well the patient is able to detect flashing lights of varying size and brightness in different areas of their visual field while they concentrate on a central point. The patient responds by pushing a button when they see the light.
Points of light, fixed in size and intensity, are presented along the patient’s peripheral vision and gradually moved inwards to determine the patient’s field of vision.
Visual field testing is non-invasive and painless, and it doesn’t require patients to have their eyes dilated. The results, usually presented in a series of charts, are recorded digitally and sent directly to your eye doctor for interpretation. Depending on the outcome of your results, you may be recommended for further diagnostic testing, which could include blood tests. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you will probably be advised to have several visual field tests each year, which will help your eye doctor monitor your condition’s progression and recommend treatments to slow it.
If you would like more information about visual field testing, or if you have concerns about your peripheral vision, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our experienced and knowledgeable eye care team today.