Dr. Galbrecht, a high-tech optometrist in Olathe, KS uses a Visual Field Analyzer (VFA) at her eye doctor’s office. Here is what she has to say about what this machine is and what it would be used for during your eye exam:
Visual Field Testing in Olathe Kansas
This machine checks to see if there are any gaps in a patient’s field of vision. It shines tiny lights in both the periphery and the central field. The patient clicks the button when they are able to detect the light, and this creates a map of their vision.
I inherited this visual field machine when I opened my office. After reading reviews in journals and reviewing this information with my peers, I realized what a great piece of advanced technology I have.
How does the VFA assist in the diagnosis and management of patients with glaucoma?
Glaucoma does not have any symptoms until the person begins to experience vision loss. There is no pain or pressure feeling, and a patient’s central vision can easily be 20/20 with glaucoma. When enough damage has been done to the optic nerve (which connects the eye to the brain), the patient will start to lose their peripheral vision very slowly, and eventually glaucoma can lead to blindness. We do screening visual field tests on all patients to detect any measurable field loss so we can treat it before glaucoma causes blindness.
Gradual visual field defects are hard to detect without using the machine because they are so slow to progress. People don’t realize there is a problem until they get hit by a car or fall down a flight of stairs. Sudden changes in field are much more dramatic. If a patient notices a black curtain over their vision, excess glare, or they feel like they are looking through a foggy mirror, they would want this test to determine if there is field loss.
Our new Oculus Visual Field Analyzer has the range to perform fast screening tests for general eye exams, but it can also be programmed to do a more thorough threshold test for patients with glaucoma or neurological damage.
What can a patient expect during their visual field test?
The patient looks into the machine and presses a button when they see the target lights. It’s very similar to playing a video game.
At Galbrecht Eye Care, our patients really appreciate the upgraded technology! The visual field results are much more accurate, and the patients are able to complete the test much easier than with older versions of the visual field test.
In addition to Glaucoma, our Visual Field Analyzer has been instrumental in diagnosing other diseases which would have otherwise gone undetected. There are many examples of people discovering a pituitary tumor through visual field testing. The tumor presses against the optic nerves inside the brain and closes down sections of the patient’s vision, which is picked up during a visual field test.
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