Visual Field Testing

We often associate our vision with being able to see what’s directly in front of us. But your visual field spans to the corners of your eyes too. This is called peripheral vision and it’s needed to see what’s happening around you.

Measuring this part of your vision gives our ophthalmologists insight into your vision strength and vision loss. A visual field test may be the best way to find a solution that can halt vision loss.

What is a Visual Field Test?

Visual field testing is one way our team can evaluate your vision and determine if you have vision loss. For example, a visual field test can help detect blind spots in your vision. The size and shape of blind spots, called scotoma, can give insight into eye diseases or brain disorders affecting your vision.

an optometrist examining a patient's eyes while sitting in a chair

Understanding Vision Screening Vs. Eye Exams

If you’re at risk for vision issues, disease, or loss then visual field testing should be a priority. It’s an effective way of detecting and monitoring conditions including:

Glaucoma
Multiple sclerosis
Central nervous system issues
Stroke
Long-term use of some medications
Pituitary gland problems

The 6 Visual Field Tests

1. Confrontation Visual Field Test

While covering one eye, your eye doctor will ask you to focus on an object directly in front of you. Then the doctor will hold up numbers in your peripheral vision and ask you to identify them while focusing on the object.

2. Automated Static Perimetry Test

An automated static perimetry test can help create a detailed map of what you can and can’t see. The test starts with you looking into the center of a bowl-shaped instrument with one eye covered. The eye being tested will have your prescription in front of it so you can see as clearly as possible.

Your doctor will ask you to keep your eye on the center target throughout the test. Then, the doctor will test your vision by placing small, dim lights in the bowl. As you see the lights, you’ll press a button.

Some lights are dimmed to a point you can not see. This helps your doctor identify your visual threshold, so don’t be alarmed if you can’t see every light.

3. Kinetic Visual Test

Similar to the perimetry testing process, kinetic visual testing involves moving light targets.

4. Frequency Doubling Perimetry

To test vision loss in parts of your visual field, your doctor may use a frequency doubling perimetry test. This involves using optical illusions to determine if your vision is damaged.

The test will start with vertical bars appearing on the screen that flicker at varying rates. If you’re unable to see some of the bars during the test, you could be losing vision.

5. Electroretinography

Your doctor will use an electroretinography test to check for retina conditions. The test will begin by dilating your eyes as well as using numbing eye drops. With your eye held open, a small electrode device is placed on your eye’s natural lens, called the cornea.

Your eye doctor will then ask you to focus on a bowl-shaped machine as it flashes light in varying patterns. The electrode device will then measure your eye’s response to light.

6. Amsler Grid

If you or a loved one has age-related macular degeneration (AMD) then you might already know this test. Amsler grid testing uses a pattern of straight lines to make a grid of equally sized squares. As you focus on a dot in the middle of the grid, you’ll describe to your doctor any wavy, blurry, or blank areas.

Schedule Your Visual Field Test in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Finding out you have an eye condition is never fun, but having your visual field tested can help you prevent or treat vision loss. Don’t wait for your vision to get worse. Schedule visual field testing with our doctors in Phoenix or Scottsdale today.

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