The visual field is measured by perimetry. Visual field  test loss may occur due to disease or disorders of the eye, optic nerver, or brain.

The purpose of visual field testing or perimetry is to provide information critical to:

  • Diagnosing ocular diseases, especially glaucoma
  • Evaluating neurological diseases
  • Monitoring the progression of, or recovery from ocular and neurological diseases or to monitor the efficacy of a given form of treatment.

Visual field test assessment is important in the evaluation of lesions involving the visual pathways and should be performed at baseline and periodically in the follow-up. Standard automated perimetry is now the technique of choice for a majority of practitioners. Goldman kinetic visual fields tests are useful for patients with severe visual and neurologic deficits and patients with peripheral visual field test defects.

visual field test optical pathways


Visual fields are useful in monitoring progression or recurrence of disease and guide treatment for conditions such as glaucoma, idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), optic neuropathy from multiple sclerosis, pituitary adenomas, and other sellar lesions. They are used as screening tools for toxic optic neuropathy from medications such as ethambutol and vigabatrin. Visual field test defects can adversely affect activities of daily living such as personal hygiene, reading, and driving and should be taken into consideration when planning rehabilitation strategies. Visual field testing must be performed in all patients with lesions of the visual pathway.