Services - Diagnostic Testing - Visual Field Testing

By: Westcoast Glaucoma  09-12-2011
Keywords: Optic Nerve, Visual Field Testing, Nerve Scan

Visual field testing, or perimetry, is a test of your optic nerve function, whereas the HRT nerve scan measures your optic nerve form.

Tests of your optic nerve form and function need to be considered along with your clinical exam at the office to help decide whether a change in your treatment is required. This test is usually repeated approximately every four months as a baseline assessment and if there is a confirmed defect. It can be done less frequently if results have been stable. A change on just one visual field test often needs to be confirmed by repeat testing and by correlating with the HRT nerve scan and the clinical findings. No ancillary test result on its own is enough to confirm progression of glaucoma as there can be fluctuations from visit to visit or other artifacts.

The part of the back of the eye that is directly damaged from glaucoma is the ganglion cells within the retina. These ganglion cells all meet by contributing their axons to form the optic nerve which connects your retina to your brain. Images from the outside world are captured by the retina and sent to the brain along the optic nerves.

(c) 2009 Rob Schertzer

Keywords: Ganglion Cells, Nerve Scan, Optic Nerve, Visual Field Testing,

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Eye drops are medicine and, as such, can cause side effects both locally, as well as systemically It is important that you inform Dr. Schertzer and his staff of any other medications that you are taking as well as any allergies that you may have so that we will make sure to minimize the chance of any interactions.


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As these tests are prone to fluctuation, Dr. Schertzer is looking for any consistent changes that show up on repeated testing to correlate with clinical findings when he sees you. These tests are divided into ones that test "form", such as the the HRT nerve scan and pachymetry, and those that assess "function", such as visual field testing.


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In addition to seeing patients by referral for glaucoma, we follow patients with established glaucoma and those at high risk of developing glaucoma, often in collaboration with the referring eye care professional. We have the full range of diagnostic testing at our facility, including two visual field machines, an HRT nerve head scanner, two pachymetries, ultrasound, and other imaging devices.


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His practice is restricted to patients who either have or have significant risk factors for developing glaucoma such as family history, high myopia, characteristic optic nerve or visual field changes, or raised intraocular pressure. Dr. Robert Schertzer sees new patients by referral only from other ophthalmologists, optometrists, family doctors and other physicians.