Peripheral vision test... how would you describe it?

Scheduled to have an electronic peripheral vision test in 2-3 days. Very curious if others having had this test would describe it the following way:

Finding a single snow-flake during a heavy snow storm...


Basically enter a dark room, place your chin-head in a certain position, and press the button whenever you see lights of various sizes and intensities on the screen.

Is that how you would describe this test?

Frankly extremely angry with the whole idea, if so. There other PV (peripheral vision) tests...?

If the lights were red, or purple, easy to see. Very very dim white light or possibly lights(plural ???), on a white background. Too @)*#(*@#@* subjective...

If your/my vision is perfect would the dim, dim lights be much easier to see? Or even with "perfect vision" (whatever that is), would I perceive, see the test the same way?

Help please

The test is simple. You are instructed to concentrate on a light in the center of the screen. When you see a light in the perifery, you press the button. I’m sorry but I don’t get why you are stressing about it. It takes only a few minutes. There is no pass or fail. It’s just a test of how good your periferal vision is.

I have many blind spots in my periferal vision. I’ve had a lot of lasering. Again, nothing to stress about, just a gathering of useful information going forward.

If it's the same test I do every time I see my opthmologist, there seems to be a contrast detection component as well. The background color looks like a bad laundry mistake, kinda hard to describe. The flashing dots look like brighter or dimmer versions of the same laundry mistake. So, bright spots in the center of the field of vision, easy to see. As the dots grow dimmer, I feel like I'm even missing some of those. Out on the periphery, who knows what's going on. I can pick up the brighter dots but I'm sure I'm missing the majority of dimmer dots out there.

Despite what I feel is a horrible ability to see anything out in the periphery with the test, my doc always assures me that everything is fine.

I'd just try to relax and do the best you can. The only thing that mildly upsets me about the test is that there is no treat that pops into my hand every time I press that button at an appropriate time.

I would describe the test as a PITA. I have to sit there pushing a stupid button at lights I can barely see. I do ok on the test, but still. And if I don't have my head perfectly straight for the test, the results come out bad saying you have impaired vision and you have to do the test all over again. All the other tests, I can just sit there like a manatee, but the peripheral vision test is a PITA.

There are two types of tests of peripheral vision. One is an automated test where you stare at a light in the centre and press a button whenever you see a light flash in your peripheral vision. I've tried this test and couldn't see any lights, period, so it didn't work so well for me ... This test is the more sensitive of the two at detecting blind spots, but it only measures the central 30 degrees or so (I think?) of peripheral vision.

There is another type of test that has to be specifically requested. It's similar to the first in that you stare at a light in the centre, except that this one is done manually. The doctor is able to adjust the bightness of the light, and rather than just flashing, the light moves in fron the sides. It's not as precise as the first, but for people like me who can't take the first test, it gives an overall indication of the entire visual field. I was able to take this test by having the lights set to the largest size and brightest setting.

I've only ever had one visual field test, as a baseline, and found it extremely fatiguing. But part of the reason (for me) is that, in addition to fairly low vision, I have a condition called nystagmus that makes my eyes "wiggle" on a constant, involuntary basis, and therefore I find it near impossible to hold my eyes still. Also, while the first test takes a few minutes, the second test takes almost an hour, which is much more tiring.

I think these tests are a good idea. Keeping track of changes in visual field is just as important as keeping track of changes in visual acuity. You can have 20/20 visual acuity but still be legally blind due to visual field defects.

Hello Cinderfella:

We see things quite differently, I fear. (Unintended pun).

A test which by DESIGN, will lead, or give any credence to a seriously invasive procedures (SLT laser) I am quite hostile towards.

If the SLT laser procedure worked on any level, then repeating it, by definition, would never be necessary.

Techniques/procedures which do not work get repeated. The ones which work, do not. Procedures/techniques which can harm me, or are futile... upset me.

[Genuinely hope you can talk me back from this ledge... having had some variation(s) of the process I am virilently opposed to...]

You can always just refuse the test, or the procedure for that matter.

-Choked snicker- Thank you my diabetic brother, I weep and softly laugh... how bout a nice sugar-free Pez popping into a little tray (choking on my tears) embedded in the chair when we do press the magic button?!


Look, let me be a straight as I can. This one is a HUGE @()#*@*@@ demon on multiple levels.

Any vision issue, can in theory be reported to the state. Prefer not to give ammunition, information/data to anybody EVER which can come back to harm me no matter how remote that potential. No faith on any level.

Been both crucified and literally blackmailed to varying degrees by many "white coats" to do XYZ in my four decades. As have you, and others. Some procedure, a technique, a visit they wish, and we do not.

Ridiculously standard example, so what I'm out of insulin before I see them again and they won't renew the script regardless until I do see them. Ummmngh, how do I stay alive without insulin chuckles, waiting to see you, your "highest majesty" (scathing sarcasm)?... there are dozens of simple examples, which while I can comprehend their view... my relationships are never relationships with any trust or faith in them on any level.

A relationship which is entirely reciprocated toward us the diabetic community. Simplistic labels like non compliant, etc. They know "best", are never wrong, always ask the right questions, to really comprehend whats going on, where we are at.... and of course never perform procedures in their own self-interest right? But let's remove that piece for a moment. A dangerous, dangerous bias on my part, I accept.

The bigger (serious) demons are two fold:

A) the entirely futile nature of the procedure to which this peripheral test will guarantee, at some point.

B) this is one of the demons, which gets beaten into all our heads, (every diabetic) since our diabetic infancy. It is one hell of a long way from this stupid ridiculously subjective test to "blindness", I am not that arrogant, and understand that serious truth.

Even so however I've towed the line, done the @*#(@&#@& work, and STILL in spite of my blood, tears.... the decades of severe and serious efforts on my part have bought and paid for.... Yippee, COMPLICATIONS, eye issues, the SLT laser, etc.

My very best efforts have achieved, a result I cannot face. My spirit is rent, my sword broken, neither to be whole again.

Hello Brian:

Yep, read up on the different procedures, but all seem the same to me. BTW you know you CAN stop the test, if you hold down that button with most programs/machines supposedly?

Can't wrap my head around the whole problem, but know I have a bunch of em... the test itself, the way its done... the entirely subjective nature of pressing that button among others. Take that away from me please, its too much.

Most problems I have with the entire process I think exist because of the imminent and looming aspect which the test results will guaranteed at some point (sic immediately)... and drains the blood from my very soul. Want an approach which is not futile. Not too much to ask is it?

Wish I had some answers.

Every time I feel like I want to vent, it's the same thing. I hate this disease, what it does to us, and what it makes us do. When I read sentiments like yours, the only thing I can do is nod.

Best wishes Stuart. Go break some boards. Can't say enough about the healing powers of a well focused, unbridled, strike to an inanimate object.

Choked laughter... thought we were trying to DECREASE my suffering !!!!

Wow, and I thought I worried too much about doc and eye doc visits and tests!

In most places (in the US at least) insulin (at least the good old R and N that you and I have used in the past) is available over the counter.

In the past 30-40 years the sure have "raised the bar" in every respect but really the technology has gotten better.

The opthamologists do all kinds of fancy tests on my eyes. The most recent test looked like I was playing "Battle Zone", all these green vector lines bouncing around. I think they were mapping (?) back surface of my eye. I think we're supposed to be grateful for the extra testing they give us but sometimes it can be frustrating. Hey, I have a test, am I supposed to study for it? For some of the eye tests I know how to study by now :-) !!!

I agree, when we are held to higher standards than the general population, it does sometimes feel unfair. And I have spent so much freaking time in the past half century waiting in doctor's offices or for my eyes to get dilated or with bright lights shone in my eyes. You would think after so many opthamologist visits that I would be good at letting them put those dilating drop in my eyes, but no, it's always a struggle for them and for me! I know a good opthamologist when I get tested by one :-). Ha, they think they're testing me, but I'm really evaluating them!