Visual Field Testing

What Does Visual Field Testing Measure?

Visual field testing measures central and peripheral vision, painting an overall image of a patient’s entire scope of vision. Each eye is tested individually to provide a map of the visual field. It is vital that patients understand how the test works so they are able to complete it successfully. Since visual field testing is often used to look for early signs of glaucoma and the resulting optic nerve damage, Paul Trapeni Jr., OD takes the time to explain the process to his patients.

What Can Patients Expect During Testing?

Optometrists may begin with a basic indicator by asking patients to count fingers held up in the periphery of their visual fieldĀ and further testing is computerized. Technology has improved the accuracy of visual field testing, though it is still somewhat subjective as it relies on the patient’s ability to cooperate. A chin rest helps keep the patient’s head stable and one eye is covered to prevent errors while the other is tested. Dr. Paul Trapeni Jr. explains each step to his patients so they can work together to create a map of the visual field.

Lights and movements are used at varying intensities around the visual field during the test. The patient pushes a button to indicate when they have seen the lights or movements. The major key to achieving accurate results is that the patient continues to look straight ahead through the test. If they allow their eyes to follow the light or movement, the test ends up measuring central vision, not peripheral vision. Technological advances allow Dr. Trapeni to gage whether the patient was able to keep their eyes directed straight ahead.

Why Is It Useful?

Preservation of vision is one of the main reasons it is used to screen for glaucoma. If glaucoma has already been diagnosed, it can give the team at The Optical Shoppe an idea of how well the patient is responding to treatment. However, glaucoma is not the only reason a visual field test is crucial. Insurance companies often require the test to cover surgery to correct ptosis, or lid droop. Early signs of macular degeneration can also be detected along with retinal detachment or other forms of peripheral retinal disease.

Visit the premier Smyrna Optometrist who values the importance of visual field testing in providing superior patient care. Dr. Trapeni has served the residents of Smyrna, TN for more than two decades and considers it an honor to work closely with his patients.