Visual field is the entire area that can be seen when our eyes are focused on a central point. In addition to what can be seen straight ahead, the visual field includes what can be perceived above, below, and to both sides of the point where our eyes are focused on.
A visual field test is often done as part of an eye exam. Visual field testing helps to determine where one’s peripheral vision begins and ends and how well one can notice objects around one. Visual field is often tested also for the admission/renewal of a driving license.
Visual field examinations are used to measure how the eye, ocular fundus, optic nerve, and the brain perceive different areas of the visual field. An intact visual field is needed for fully functional vision.
Wide and even visual field is important for a smooth functionality in our daily life. A proper visual field sensitivity allows us to notice even weak targets and react to them at ease. Objects are easier to perceive in our surroundings when one’s field of vision is even and sensitive.
Deficiencies in the visual field are not necessarily even noticed in daily life, because the brains start compensating the loss and completing the perceived image. Therefore, changes in one’s visual field are normally quite difficult to detect without tests.
The Ocusweep tests (binocular and/or monocular) measure the height, width and integrity of the visual field under normal lightning conditions and under unique and patented measurement algorithms that guarantee the reliability of the tests results.
Defects in the visual field may be caused by a progressive but treatable illness. In such cases, examinations of visual field are conducted to provide information for further diagnosis and monitoring purposes. The information obtained through visual field measurement is one of the most important pieces of baseline information when making e.g. diagnosis of glaucoma. In addition, examinations for plain screening purposes can reveal anomalies that may lead to the detection of such diseases.
A sensitive and even field of vision is essential for overall eyesight, but the sensitivity usually declines with age. Problems in one’s visual field will surely lead to a decreased functionality and quality of life in general. Such problems are quite inconvenient and can also be dangerous, e.g. in traffic.
Wide and even visual field needs to be understood as an integral part of a functional and healthy neuro-visual system and tested periodically (among other aspects affecting functional vision).
Mika Mahlamäki, Business Development Manager, Ocusweep