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Visual Electrophysiology

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Visual electrophysiology includes a variety of tests that are done to diagnose conditions of the eye. The tests we offer at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of the University of Miami Health System, include:

  • Full-field electroretinogram (ffERG): measures the electrical activity of the cells of the entire retina in response to flashes of light
  • Multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG): provides the local electrical activity of the central retinal cells
  • Visual evoked potentials (VEP): Flash (FVEP) and Pattern (PVEP) measures the electrical activity that the brain produces in response to an external visual stimulus, such as a flash of light (FVEP) or checkerboards (PVEP)
  • SWEEP Visual evoked potentials - SWEEP VEP: measures the electrical activity that the brain produces in response to different sizes of checkerboards. This test objectively assess the vision in pre-verbal or non-verbal children.
  • Electrooculogram (EOG): measures the outer cells of the retina and the function of the retinal pigment epithelium cells
  • Contrast sensitivity function (CSF): measures the ability to detect luminance contrast
  • Farnsworth 100 hue test (F-100): measures color vision
  • Farnsworth dichotomous test (Panel D-15): measures color vision
  • Preferential looking techniques (PLT): measures the vision in pre-verbal or non-verbal children who cannot respond verbally

What to Expect

These tests take anywhere from approximately 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the exact test and your situation. They are typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that you’ll return home that same day. Some tests require that your eyes be dilated, but this is a quick, standard procedure with eye drops. For infants and young children, some of the tests require sedation or general anesthesia (fully asleep).

If you wear corrective lenses, be sure to bring your glasses with you, as you’ll need to wear them for some tests. You should bring sunglasses with you to the test, as some of these tests cause light sensitivity for a period of time. Your ophthalmologist can provide more specific information about the visual electrophysiology test you’ll be undergoing.

Who is a Candidate?

If your ophthalmologist suspects you may have a vision problem and has not been able to make a diagnosis using other techniques, he or she may recommend you undergo visual electrophysiology. The exact test recommended depends on the condition you may have. Certain tests – such as preferential looking techniques – are designed for patients with special needs, such as children who are too young or otherwise unable to provide verbal feedback about what they can see.


Why Choose Bascom Palmer Eye Institute?

Ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is the top-rated facility in the country for the treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye. When you choose us for your eye care, you will receive the best care in the nation in a compassionate setting.

Sophisticated diagnostic technology. Our knowledgeable imaging technicians use the latest imaging devices, giving you precise test results and an effective treatment plan.

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