Visual Field Testing

Northern Eye Surgeons uses the gold-standard Humphrey Visual Field Analyser for your visual field testing.


What is visual field testing?

Generally speaking, your vision can be divided into your central vision and your peripheral vision. Your central vision is relatively easily tested (for example, with a standard Snellen (eye) chart. Your peripheral vision is a little more difficult to test.

Visual field testing usually involves testing the peripheral vision. There are several ways this can be done. Northern Eye Surgeons uses the gold-standard Humphrey Visual Field Analyser. This test involves you sitting in front of an illuminated dome. Lights of varying intensity are then projected into the dome, and you press a button whenever you see the light. This test is difficult and requires a lot of concentration, as the desired effect is to try and find out how good (or bad) your peripheral vision is.

This test is commonly used in the assessment of diseases such as:

Why is visual field testing important for glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. The damage usually results in changes to the peripheral vision. This test is essential for the diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma as people do not realise how bad their peripheral vision is, or if its getting worse.

Visual field testing is usually performed every 6 months along with measuring the intraocular pressure and examining the eye. Several visual field tests are always required to establish an accurate baseline and ongoing testing is then performed to ensure that your peripheral vision is not deteriorating.

What does a normal visual field test look like?

Here is a print-out of a normal visual field test:


What Does a Visual Field Look Like in Mild Glaucoma?

Ideally, glaucoma can be picked up before there is any changes in the visual field. That is, the visual field is normal, or would appear similar to that shown above.

In moderate glaucoma, you may start to see changes similar to the visual field below. In this case, there are black areas, which correspond to patches of vision loss. Unfortunately, when you lose vision in glaucoma, it is irreversible.


What does a Visual Field Look Like in Severe Glaucoma?

Glaucoma initially affects the peripheral vision. In patients with severe glaucoma, most of the peripheral vision will be gone, only with small areas of central vision remaining. The visual field below demonstrates how a visual field with severe glaucoma make appear.


Dr Joshua Yuen

Dr Joshua is an experienced consultant ophthalmic surgeon, who specialises in retinal diseases and cataract surgery... read more

Dr Brad Johnson

Dr Johnson is an experienced consultant ophthalmic surgeon, who specialises in retinal diseases and cataract surgery... read more