Visual field tests help your provider to evaluate your peripheral vision, meaning what you can see in the area in front of you without moving your eyes. The results of these tests are used to create a map of your peripheral vision. If you aren’t able to see in certain areas, your provider uses the map to help diagnose your eye condition.
There are several different types of visual field tests, including automated perimetry, confrontation visual field exams, and tangent screen exams.
The automated perimetry test uses a computer that flashes small lights throughout your field of vision. While focusing on a specific point, you will be asked to press a button when you can see the light. This is one of the most common techniques used to measure visual fields.
When conducting a confrontation visual field exam, your provider will sit in front of you and ask you to cover one eye while looking directly ahead. Your provider will then move his or her hand in and out of your visual field, asking you to comment when the hand is visible to you.
A tangent screen exam involves sitting a short distance from a screen and staring at a target at its center. Your provider will ask you to comment when you see an object move into your visual field.