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A Guide to Visual Field Testing

A Guide to Visual Field Testing

Sep 01, 2021

The visual field is the area a person can view peripherally when the eyes are focused centrally. Visual field testing, also known as a peripheral vision test, is a test conducted by an optometrist to determine the amount of vision you have or have lost overtime on either eye.

What Does a Visual Field Test Measure?

A visual field test measures two things; primarily, how far left, right, up, and down the eyes can see without moving. Secondly, the test measures how sensitive the vision is in different parts of the viewing area.

A visual field test determines whether you have blind spots in your vision and can help locate them in the visual pathway. The size of a blind spot can show how your vision is affected by a brain disorder or an eye disease. The test also assesses how your vision may be affected by eyelid problems such as droopy eyelids and ptosis.

Types of Visual Field Tests

  • Automated Static Perimetry Test

  • This test checks an eye problem or tracks the progress of eye disease. This test, however, requires follow-up tests to determine how you see objects in your field of vision. The test creates a detailed map of where you can see and where you cannot see.

  • Confrontation Visual Field Test

  • Confrontation visual field test is the most basic test to check any visual field defect. Your optometrist does not require any machine to conduct this test. The doctor holds several items in your peripheral vision side and inquires how many you can see as you look at a central point of focus.

  • Frequency Doubling Perimetry

  • An optometrist uses this test to assess loss of vision. This test utilizes optical illusion to ascertain visual field defects. Vertical bars flickering at varying rates appear on a perimeter screen, and you are asked to look at the bars. If you cannot see the vertical bars at certain times during the test, it indicates some vision loss in some regions of your visual field.

  • Kinetic Visual Field Test

  • A kinetic visual field test resembles the automatic static perimetry test. However, the test uses moving light targets as an alternative to blinking lights.

  • Electroretinography

  • This test measures electrical signals of light-sensitive cells in the retina. It assesses certain retina conditions.

When is Visual Field Testing Indicated

A peripheral visual test is essential to identify early signs of glaucoma that damage vision progressively. Individuals with diseases such as glaucoma do not immediately notice problems with their visions; however, subtle changes are detected on the visual test.

A doctor also uses a visual field test to learn more about the nervous system. If there is a problem with the nervous system, such as Grave’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or brain tumors, changes can be noted on the visual field.

A doctor conducts visual field tests on individuals at the risk of vision loss from diseases. Some conditions that require regular monitoring by an optometrist include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Thyroid eye disease
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Central nervous system
  • Long-term medication such as hydroxychloroquine
  • Pituitary gland disorders

Depending on the results of the visual field test, a doctor may order follow-up tests. A “normal” visual field test means the patient in question can see well across the visual field. On the other hand, a test with visual field loss indicates that vision in some visual field regions has been lost. A doctor may order additional tests. The test helps the doctor to diagnose any problems at an early age and offer the proper medication.


Routine eye health checks should be done regularly to avoid problems with the eyes. Visit our professional eye doctor in North York, ON. Visual field testing in North York, ON, is available at Yorkdale Eyecare. Yorkdale Eyecare has a team that provides professional services.

416-781-8242 Book Appointment
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