Patient Education

Vision Tests

Visual field testing

These tests determine if your peripheral vision is normal. The importance of this stems from the fact that visual field testing can detect problems as well as glaucoma and other eye diseases. Typically, this is done with a large white bowl apparatus on which spots of light are projected. The patient fixates a central spot and then indicates when they see a small spot of light off to the side. The visual field can also be tested using a screen on which a white spot is moved and the patient indicates when the spot disappears.

The Amsler Grid also tests the visual field, specifically the central vision capabilities of the patient. The test consists of a black grid on a white background with a central fixation point located in the middle. It is very easy to conduct and provides a fairly good barometer of the health of the macula (region of the retina responsible for our central vision). To take the test you will fixate on the dot in the middle of the grid. If your macula is healthy, the lines should appear straight and clear. By contrast, an unhealthy macula will sometimes view the lines as wavering or will see a blank spot in some areas. These are all indicators of a compromised macula.