Today I had a different type of evaluation for my peripherial vision. The first test was the “octopus.” Lights were flashed quickly and randomly throughout the possible field of vision. I had to hit a button when I saw a light. I only had a certain amount of time to respond. If I hit the button at the wrong time twice, the test had to be restarted. I did not do well on this test. It showed tunnel vision and areas of blindness throughout my visual field.
My VA provider consulted with the optometry department at the VA. The doctor wondered if the test was valid. With TBI, response times can be slowed and concentration can be short. She decided to order a retest at the VA. The first test was a community provider.
The test today allowed the tester to control the speed of the lights. It also allowed her to move them inward. Often, I’d see the movement before the light spot came “clear.” I was also tested on two different sizes of light.
The results of this test was more hopeful. I have visual field loss. However, I am not legally blind. And my vision is good enough to legally drive! That is a huge relief. The doctor spoke to me afterwards. She doesn’t think I have fiber damage. There may be a possibility for me to recover my visual area. I have a copy of the test that I’ll take to my vestibular therapist and see if she can come up with a program that can help “retrain” the visual field. It may be permenant- but it may not be. I’ll take the second option right now and work on it.