Visual-field testing without special equipment

Author and Disclosure Information


A GREAT many situations make visual-field testing in a refined manner by perimeter or tangent screen instruments impractical or impossible. The patient may be too ill to be moved to the machines and testing rooms, or too ill to sit up or otherwise cooperate with the use of the instruments. Since important information may be derived from examinations of visual fields, there is a need for a simple, bedside or office method of testing visual fields which requires no special instruments. This report reviews such simple tests.

Confrontation test

A finger, a cotton-tipped applicator stick, or a hatpin of a specific color is moved in a frontal plane between the examiner and the patient and at equal distances from both. The examiner, staying at arm’s length from the patient, closes one eye and covers the patient’s opposite eye with his hand while making sure that the patient gazes constantly at the examiner’s open eye rather than moving his gaze about to look for the target object. The examiner’s finger is moved inward from various points outside the patient’s field of view and the patient is asked to say “Yes” as soon as he catches the faintest glimpse of it (Fig. 1). This is repeated at intervals around the patient’s field of vision—first for one eye and then for the other—to note any defects of visualization. Refinements can be made by using smaller and less bright objects or, perhaps even preferably, variously colored objects to test for small central visual . . .



Next Article: