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Visual field test: what it is and why take it

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How much can you see from the corners of your eyes when concentrating on the words in this article? Can you discern what is going on around you?

Your visual field is the area that your eye can view while it is focused on a single object. Your ophthalmologist may use visual field tests to determine your visual acuity and how much vision loss may have developed over time. This may include procedures that dilate your eyes.

By taking a visual field exam, you can discover anyblind spots in your vision (called scotomas) and where they are. The size and shape of a scotoma can reveal how an eye or a brain condition affects your vision. This test, for instance, can reveal any potential peripheral vision loss caused by diseases like glaucoma.

Visual field exams are another tool ophthalmologists use to evaluate how eyelid issues like ptosis and sagging eyelids may impede vision. You can also take dominant eye tests at home to determine which eye is your leading eye.

Failed visual field test: what does it mean?

How often should you get an eye exam? You should schedule regular checkups to monitor your vision health to catch an eye disease early on. What does an abnormal visual field test mean? Abnormal visual field test results can mark the onset of eye diseases. Visual field loss in one eye is typically brought on by an eye or optic nerve disorder, such as multiple sclerosis or an eye tumor. Unequal visual field loss in both eyes typically indicates an eye disease process, such as diabetes or glaucoma.

Peripheral field test: understanding the results

Without turning their head or moving their eyes, a person may perceive the surroundings thanks to their peripheral vision, also known as indirect vision. Viewing things and scenes outside of the field of vision are assisted by peripheral vision. Different rods and nerve cells outside the macula are what causes this form of vision. Humans are unable to see as far away as other animals can.

Visual field examinations can be used to detect side or peripheral vision loss. Side vision loss is a sign of glaucoma, a condition that can cause blindness. The usual visual field is about 100 degrees laterally.

Tips for taking visual field test

You can take steps to ensure that your test replies are as accurate as possible:

  • Get enough sleep. Ask your ophthalmologist to delay the test if you feel under the weather or sick.
  • Make sure you are relaxed. Comfort is key because the tests frequently take 15 minutes to complete in each eye. If you are bent over or the chin rest is excessively high, let the technician know.
  • Always keep your eyes on the goal light. During the test, the test lights' placements match regions of your retina. Your ophthalmologist can more precisely pinpoint the area of damage from the visual field if you don't look around.
  • If you need to take a break, let the technician know.
  • If you do not see all the lights, do not worry. There will be lights on each test that not even someone with 20/20 vision can see.

Confrontation eye test characteristics

A confrontation visual field test is a common method used by doctors to check for any issues with a patient's visual field. One of your eyes will be covered while you focus on something in front of you. When you look at the object in front of you, your doctor may hold up various numbers or fingers in your peripheral (side) vision field and ask you how many you see.