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Imaging and visual field testing

Ophthalmology - Imaging team
Ophthalmic imaging team

About us

The Imaging and visual field testing service is based in the Windsor eye clinic, on level 1.

We work alongside all outpatient clinics and eye casualty.  Depending upon your requirements, and your eye doctor's specification, we can perform your imaging and visual field prior to you seeing the doctor, or at any point as required during your clinic visit. 

We also arrange many appointments for patients to have testing as a separate visit, for which we will send you an appointment through the post.


What does Imaging involve?

Your photos and scans are conducted in a room with low-level lighting.  None of the scans or photos actually require us to touch your eye; you will mainly be asked to look at a light to keep your eyes in the right position to help us; we may also help you by holding your eyelids out of the way. 

Dilating drops may have to be instilled in order for some of the scans you require; these take 20 minutes to work and last for 4-6 hours; you are advised not to drive until these drops have worn off.  You may wish to bring sunglasses as your pupils cannot constrict in bright light as normal.

Some imaging patients may not need dilating, and may therefore be able to be seen sooner than others; please be aware of this, and do not think that you have been overlooked.

Once we have taken your photos and scans they are stored on the computer system, enabling your eye doctor to look at them when they see you for your consultation, and in the future too. 

What is the reason for this test?

 We have a number of different specialist imaging equipment to provide each consultant’s specialty and requirements with the optimum technical facilities.  Below are the main services we provide:

  • OCT scan.  This scan is very popular now, as it is quick and painless for the patient, and gives your eye doctor a lot of information.  It shows a cross-section of the eye, defining the many layers at the back of the eye.  it is able to pick up many early changes in certain eye conditions, and how well the eye has responded to treatment you may have received.

  • Topography.  This scan gives your doctor a map showing the shape, or curve, of the front of the eye (the cornea).

  • Fundus Photography of the back of the eye.  Your eyes will need to be dilated for this.  It allows us to document what your eye doctor sees at the back of your eye and store it for future reference.  We often do this for glaucoma (or suspected glaucoma) patients, or for patients with a naevus (mole) at the back of the eye

  • Fundus Fluorescein Angiogram (FFA).  This test is performed on the fundus camera above.  We take a series of photos whilst we observe a small amount of yellow dye as it flows through the blood vessels at the back of your eye.
Opthamology OCT Scan

We also do many types of scans for particular conditions, as requested by your eye specialists.  These include scans of the optic disc at the back of the eye, the thickness of the front of the eye, and cross-sections of the front of the eye.  We also take photographs using the same microscope which the doctors use, and using a "traditional" camera. 

The majority of our work is carried out for diagnostic purposes, so directly affects your diagnosis, management and care.  You may be required to have several different forms of imaging which may be repeated at future visits; this is normal, and allows your eye doctor to monitor your condition, and manage your individual treatment requirements.

Diabetic patients: Please be aware that we are not a part of the diabetic retinal screening service which some patients attend at the GP surgery.

Please be assured that the scans and photographs we take in this department do not use magnets, so do not affect pacemakers.

Contact us

If you need to alter or cancel an appointment for an imaging appointment only, please call us on (0116) 258 5665.

We are sorry, but this number cannot be used to amend appointments that are part of a clinic visit; for these please contact the clinic enquiry line on (0116) 258 6763. 

Visual Fields

Patient performing visual field test

What does the test involve?

The test is conducted in a room with low-level lighting, but you will be guided to your seat if necessary.  Anyone accompanying you to your appointment will be asked to wait in the waiting room whilst you are having the test as we have limited space and seating in the testing rooms.  We will, however, sometimes require interpreters to be in attendance.

When attending for this test please bring either your latest optician’s prescription or your current distance glasses.

You may have done a similar visual field test at the optician’s, but the one done at the hospital is usually more detailed, and takes longer (very few opticians have the same equipment as the hospital).

For our standard tests each eye is tested separately.  You will be asked to look at a fixed target on a curved screen throughout the test.  A flashing white light will then appear intermittently and you will be asked to press a response button each time you see the flashing light. 

The doctor will then look at the results during your consultation.

What is the reason for this test?

Your visual field shows what you can see all around you, also referred to as your peripheral vision. 

Visual field testing is used to detect and monitor certain eye conditions.  Some conditions may produce a defect in the visual field which is noticeable to the patient immediately, and which alert you to a problem. 

However, more commonly, the changes are gradual and hard for the patient to detect.  Some eye diseases, the most well-known being glaucoma, can affect your visual field very considerably.  In glaucoma (or suspected glaucoma) particularly, your visual field test is important as it allows the doctor to see any early damage, or progression; damage caused to the visual field by glaucoma is irreversible and so careful monitoring and management of the condition is crucial.

Your visual field affects your day-to-day world, including how you get around, and whether you can drive.  It is important that your ophthalmologist monitors your visual field, even if you feel that your vision may not seem any different.  Your ophthalmologist will take into consideration your eye condition and various other factors when deciding when and how often to request this test; please do not be concerned or worry if you seem to be repeating it more often than somebody else.

Other types of visual field testing

In addition to the standard tests we perform on most patients we also perform tests requested by the DVLA or if the consultant wishes to assess suitability for driving.  This test is performed with both eyes together, and tests a wider area than tested for the normal clinic tests.  

On certain clinics your doctor may require a special type of visual field test which enables them to assess the position of your eyelids, and whether they are interfering with your day-to-day vision.

Your doctor may request a test performed on a different piece of equipment, and takes a little longer to produce the result. This is called a Goldmann field test and is normally booked onto a separate clinic to allow the doctor to receive the results prior to your appointment.

Contact us

If you need to alter or cancel an appointment for a visual field test only, please call us on (0116) 258 6877.

We are sorry, but this number cannot be used to amend appointments that are part of a clinic visit; for these please contact the clinic enquiry line on (0116) 258 6763.