Visual field tests at our office in Fort Lauderdale assess the potential presence of blind spots or changes in your peripheral (side) vision. A blind spot in the field of vision can be linked to a variety of specific eye diseases, depending on the size and shape.
Many eye and brain disorders can cause peripheral vision defects and visual field abnormalities. For example:
- Optic nerve damage caused by glaucoma creates a very specific visual field defect. A patient typically requires multiple testing periods over a period of time to monitor the progression of the disease.
- Brain abnormalities such as those caused by strokes or tumors can affect the visual field. In fact, the location of the stroke or tumor in the brain can frequently be determined by the size, shape and site of the visual field defect.
- Patients with Multiple Sclerosis frequently have visual field abnormalities.
Types of Visual Field Tests
Confrontation Visual Field testing typically is used as a screening visual field test. One eye is covered, while the other eye fixates on a target object, such as the doctor’s open eye, while the doctor stands or sits directly in front of you. You then are asked to describe what you see on the far edges or periphery of your field of view.
Automated Perimetry is a more comprehensive and more accurate way of evaluating visual field defects. It is considered the standard of care in measuring and mapping these defects. The test done in our Fort Lauderdale office is performed by a patient responding to where repeated light stimuli of varying intensities appear in different parts of their peripheral field of vision. Fields are charted on the basis of patient’s perception of these lights, while his/her eye is focused on a central spot. The results obtained from the patient are then compared with those of the age matched normal population and the amount of damage is quantified. It is a simple, painless outpatient procedure and takes about 15 minutes.
- Testing results are not greatly affected by cataracts or high refractive erros, thus allowing a high degree of reliabilty.
- Patient reliablity can increase because the test is more rapidly administered than other perimetry testing.
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