If your doctor has requested that we perform a visual field examination, we hope that this page will answer any questions you may have.

What is a visual field test?

It measures the amount of central or peripheral vision you have. This shows how much you see at the centre or the edge of your vision.

What do I need to bring to the clinic for this test?

  • Please follow the instructions on your appointment letter
  • Please bring all the glasses you wear for near and distance
  • Please bring the latest copy of your optician’s prescription


Whenever possible, we will try to carry out the test on the same day as your eye clinic appointment. Occasionally we may need to give you two appointments, one for the visual field test and one for the doctor. If you are given two appointments, it is important to attend both so that the doctor has all the results when you see him.

Why do I need this test?

The testing of visual fields is carried out as part of the investigation of a wide range of different conditions, eg. glaucoma and/or diabetes. Visual field testing is undertaken on all patients with suspected glaucoma. The test can help monitor your treatment by plotting any changes in the visual field which may occur between visits.

How is the test carried out?

  • You will be seated comfortably at a machine in a room with reduced lighting
  • Each eye is tested in turn
  • You will be asked to watch a central light
  • The machine will show you a series of flashes of light, one at a time, which will vary in brightness
  • You will be asked to press a button each time you see the flash of light

How long does the test take?

The test takes between 15-20 minutes.

How can I ensure the test is as accurate as possible?

The two most important things are to:

  • Watch the central light
  • Keep the eye still

The less you look away from the central light, the more accurate the test will be.

Field test for drivers

  • The test for drivers is carried out with both eyes open
  • Patients with glaucoma should notify the DVLA (the vehicle licensing authority


If you have any other queries, please contact:

The Eye Clinic
Telephone: 01935 384 309

Alternatively, you can telephone your GP.

Ref: 08-16-105 np
Review: 05/18