Humphrey Visual Field

Humphrey Visual Field Testing

The area in space that may be visualized by the eye is known as the visual field. Plotting of the visual field is important for many disorders, particularly disorders of the optic nerve and brain. This would include glaucoma (an optic nerve disorder), strokes, and brain tumors. Testing peripheral vision with a waving hand is likely only to be useful for the most severe losses of peripheral vision, as sometimes occurs in stroke. The much more common and subtle peripheral vision deficits may only be detected by the sophisticated methodology of a computerized visual field analyzer (Automated Perimeter). This device systematically plots the field of vision using threshold testing, which allows the determination of retinal sensitivity in any given location. Your ophthalmologist then interprets the results. A visual field analyzer is most often used to evaluate and follow patients with suspected or actual glaucoma.

In order to have the automated visual field testing, you sit in front of a concave dome and stare at a central target within the dome. A computer-driven program flashes small lights at different locations within the dome's surface, and you press a button when you see the small lights in your peripheral vision. Your responses are compared to age-matched controls to determine the presence of defects within the visual field.