(587) 327-9493
Blog Hero

What is a Visual Field Test?

Book Your Appointment
optometrist performing Visual Field Test on patient at eye clinic

Many different types of health conditions can cause vision changes or loss. It can be sudden and immediately noticeable, but it can also happen gradually, which may make it harder for you to detect. This is why your optometrist may suggest a visual field test after conducting a regular comprehensive eye exam. Your eye doctor may be able to notice blind spots in your visual field that you haven’t noticed. 

If you think you are experiencing vision loss, contact us to book an appointment —our team at River Heights Eye Care is always here to help you. 

Why Do I Need a Visual Field Test?

Eye care professionals perform visual field tests during a comprehensive eye exam to detect issues in your visual field. 

Your visual field covers everything you can see when you’re focusing on a central point. Your eye doctor can measure how far the eye sees and how sensitive the vision is in different parts of your visual field by assessing your visual field. This helps doctors identify certain types of conditions and diseases. 

As mentioned earlier, you may not be aware of blind spots in your vision and can easily miss the signs. By receiving regular eye exams, you can be confident that your eye doctor can see the signs of developing eye diseases, helping you get effective treatment as early as possible.

To protect your vision and overall health, book an eye exam today.  

Symptoms of Vision Loss 

There are several symptoms you may notice that could mean you are losing your sight. Some of these symptoms come on gradually, and some can appear suddenly. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your eye doctor:

  • Double vision, blurry vision, or tunnel vision
  • Seeing flashes of light or halos around lights
  • Seeing floaters or “spider webs” 
  • Seeing a “curtain” coming down over one eye
  • A sudden decrease in vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Eye pain, redness, or swelling
  • Itching or burning eyes
  • Tripping, falling, or an increase in clumsiness 
  • Difficulty driving or moving in the dark 

While it’s common to have some symptoms of vision loss, you may not experience any symptoms at all. 

What Can a Visual Field Test Detect?

A visual field test can detect areas of vision loss caused by several health conditions, including:

Young women undergoing eye exam at optometrist office

The 6 Types of Visual Field Tests 

There are many different types of visual field tests your optometrist may use. 

1. Confrontation Visual Field Test

A confrontation visual field test is a screening test performed by your optometrist during  your regular eye exam. During this test, your doctor will ask you to focus on an object in front of you and test how well you can see objects in your peripheral vision. If your doctor notices any abnormalities during a confrontation visual field, they may perform additional visual field tests. 

2. Automated Static Perimetry Test

If you need a more specific test to monitor the progression of an eye disease, your eye doctor may use an automated static perimetry test. This test uses an instrument called a perimeter that flashes lights around your visual field. Then, when you see the light, you press a button, helping your doctor create a detailed map of where you can and can’t see. 

3. Kinetic Visual Field Test

A kinetic visual field test is similar to an automated static perimetry test, but instead of flashing lights, it uses moving light targets to test your vision.

4. Frequency Doubling Perimetry Test

Another way your doctor can assess your visual field is through a test called frequency doubling perimetry. This test uses a flickering optical illusion to check for damage to vision. The illusion uses vertical bars and can show vision loss if you’re unable to see the vertical bars at certain times during the test.

5. Electroretinography Test

Electroretinography is a test that can determine vision loss caused by certain retina conditions. This test is similar to an automated static perimetry test, but it uses electrodes to measure the electrical signals of the cells in the retina to see how your eyes respond to flashes of light.

6. Amsler Grid Test

The Amsler grid test is a visual field test specifically for people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This test uses a grid pattern with a dot in the middle. Your eye doctor will ask you to describe the image and describe any areas that may appear wavy, blurry, or blank.

While this test only measures the middle of the visual field, it is still an effective tool to test your overall vision.

How Often Should I Get my Eyes Checked 

We recommend you get an eye exam at least once every 1-2 years to keep your eyes healthy and seeing well, depending on your age and overall health. In addition to your regularly scheduled eye exams, you may need to see your optometrist if you are experiencing any vision issues, symptoms, or injuries.

If you have any questions or concerns about your eye health, book an appointment with us today! 

Written by Shazeen Manji

Dr. Shazeen Manji was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and attended the University of Alberta, where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree. She then went on to earn her optometry degree at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, where she graduated with honours. Dr. Manji received her training in a vast array of clinical settings, including private practices and Veterans Affairs hospitals, where she focused on pediatrics and contact lenses. Though she enjoys all aspects of private practice, Dr. Manji has a particular interest in ocular disease and contact lenses. She completed her ocular disease externship at the Wilmington V.A. Hospital and has completed an advanced studies course in contact lenses, giving her unique insight into fitting specialty contact lenses. In 2019, Dr. Manji purchased River Heights Eye Care where she is now practicing.
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star-half star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax