Eye Exam Explained Visual Field Screener

Supra threshold visual field testing

Visual field testing (also known as perimetry) is used to evaluate peripheral vision or field of view. Visual field testing is particularly important in screening, diagnosing and monitoring retinal conditions such retinal detachments; optic nerve conditions such as glaucoma and optic neuritis; and brain disorders such as strokes and tumours. It is also commonly requested by the DVLA in individuals with the aforementioned conditions, whereby loss of peripheral vision may impair ability to drive safely. In such cases a special binocular visual field assessment known as an Estermann test is conducted.

Visual field testing involves looking at a small orange target within a white bowl. You are asked to maintain a constant and steady gaze on this target. The machine then presents a small white dot of light at random intervals and locations around the bowl and you are asked to press a button in response to having seen the light.

In supra threshold visual field testing the brightness of the white light presented is adjusted by age and is of an intensity which should be easily visible. This test is used to screen for scotomas (holes in the visual field) caused by conditions such as glaucoma and strokes. Visual field analysis is conducted on every patient as part of the routine NHS eye examination. It is a quick, straightforward and painless procedure and normally takes a few minutes per eye. It does not affect vision meaning driving afterwards is safe.

At Peter Ivins Eye Care we use the hospital ‘gold standard’ Humphrey 720i Visual Field Analyser from Carl Zeiss; the latest computerised and automated visual field analyser.


Threshold field visual field testing

Visual field testing (also known as perimetry) is used to evaluate peripheral vision or field of view. Visual field testing is particularly important in screening, diagnosing and monitoring retinal conditions such retinal detachments; optic nerve conditions such as glaucoma and optic neuritis; and brain disorders such as strokes and tumours. It is also commonly requested by the DVLA in individuals with the aforementioned conditions, whereby loss of peripheral vision may impair ability to drive safely. In such cases a special binocular visual field assessment known as an Estermann test is conducted.

Visual field testing involves looking at a small orange target within a white bowl. You are asked to maintain a constant and steady gaze on this target. The machine then presents a small white dot of light at random intervals and locations around the bowl and you are asked to press a button in response to having seen the light.

In threshold visual field testing the brightness of the white light presented varies throughout the duration of the test, meaning some lights are more difficult to see than others. This process allows the optometrist to produce a detailed sensitivity map of the visual field which can be used to accurately monitor changes or abnormalities in the visual field.

At Peter Ivins Eye Care we use the hospital ‘gold standard’ Humphrey 720i Visual Field Analyser from Carl Zeiss; the latest computerised and automated visual field analyser.

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