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Understanding Your Visual Field Test

Reasons for Abnormal Test Results


Updated June 11, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

A visual field test helps distinguish problems with peripheral vision from problems with central vision.

If your test results are normal, your peripheral vision is in good working order. However, if you have abnormal results, there may be a problem with your central nervous system or an undiagnosed health problem.

Abnormal visual field test results are a reason for concern and normally result in more testing to uncover the problem.

Potential causes of abnormal visual field test results include the following:

Don't be alarmed if your doctor repeats your visual field test several times to ensure its validity, as there is some subjectivity in performing the test. The first time a doctor performs a visual field test, they may not know what to expect, thus invalidating the results. Repeat testing often yields normal results.


Choplin, Neil T and Russel P. Edwards. Humphrey Field Analyzer. SLACK Incorporated, 1995.

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