Mr Adam H. Ross, MBChB, FRCOphth, FHEA, CertMedEd, Ophthalmologist
Nuffield Heatlh Spire Healthcare Circle Health Group
0117 369 1179 (Bristol) 01225 220 295 (Bath) [javascript protected email address]
Home > Patient Info > Conditions and Procedures > Diagnostic Procedures > Visual Field Testing

Visual Field Testing

What is Visual Field Testing?

The visual field is a complete area that can be seen when your eyes focus on a single point; this comprises of objects that can be seen on either side, and above and below the point that your eyes focus on. Visual field testing is a diagnostic test used to measure the entire scope of vision, which includes the central and peripheral (side) vision.

Why is it Performed?

It is most commonly used to evaluate any damage to the optic nerve. It is also used to detect retinal diseases, drooping of the eyelids and conditions affecting the visual pathways in the brain. The examination helps to determine the loss of vision in the visual field.

How is it Performed?

The visual field examination is performed in different ways:

  • Confrontation visual field examination: This is a primary examination, during which the examiner asks you to cover one eye and look straight ahead. The examiner stands at a distance of 3 to 4 feet and moves his/her hand towards and away from your field of vision. You are instructed to indicate when you can clearly see the examiner's hand.

  • Tangent screen or Goldmann field examination: You are seated about 3 feet away from a screen with a target in the centre. You are instructed to stare at the centre and inform your examiner when you see an object moving into your side vision. Your examiner uses this information to create a map of your field of vision. This helps your doctor detect areas of blindness in your visual field.

  • Automated perimetry: You are seated in front of a concave dome and instructed to stare at an object in the centre. You are instructed to press a button when you observe small flashes of light in the peripheral vision. Computer images will help in determining defects in the visual field.

Your doctor will discuss the type of visual field examination to be done.

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