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Your child’s visual field is whatever he or she can see in front, above, below and to the side when looking straight ahead. Ophthalmologists at Riley at IU Health can use a visual field test to measure your child’s vision and determine how sensitive his or her vision may be in different parts of a visual field.
Visual field testing can also help detect and monitor a number of conditions, including glaucoma, damage to the optic nerve, central or peripheral retinal disease, ptosis (drooping eyelid) and optic nerve diseases.
When they are performed regularly, visual field tests help identify areas of vision loss before a child notices the change. They may also determine whether treatment for an eye condition is working.
Children who can follow directions, remain still and look straight ahead can have a visual field test. Younger children or those with developmental disabilities may have problems completing this test or may not be able to provide information that yields accurate results.
It is not necessary to bring any items or take any steps to prepare for a visual field test, which lasts about 30 minutes. Usually, the test is performed on one eye at a time.
A field vision test may be conducted in various ways, but the two most common types are:
Some children may also take a perimetry test, which uses an instrument called a perimeter to map the field of vision. During this test, your child looks straight ahead and rests his or her head in a certain position supported by a chin rest. Spots of light with varying brightness and color will flash in front your child until he or she signals when the light is visible to the side.
Your child can resume regular activities the same day of the procedure unless he or she had tests that required dilation or numbing eye drops.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
The NEI, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conducts and supports research, provides training and shares health information about eyesight, eye diseases and conditions. This link explains the components of a comprehensive eye exam, including visual field testing.
This professional organization for ophthalmologists shares basic information about eye care and eye conditions on its website. This content includes a short description of a visual field test and its role in diagnosing glaucoma.
This not-for-profit group raises money to support research to develop treatments for glaucoma. Their site shares information to promote knowledge and awareness of eye care, including descriptions of exams to test the visual field.
This website is published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and it contains information about the visual field and how it can be tested.
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