And why it’s so important to understand the distinction.
If you or a loved one has looked into our therapies in the past, you may have seen the opportunity to take our Online Visual Field Screening Test. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this test, you can read some of our previous blogs on what exactly to expect as well as the benefits of taking this kind of vision test online.
For those of you who are familiar with the Online Visual Field Screening Test, you may have noticed that you are only able to take the test one time. We are aware that at first this may seem frustrating, but there’s a good reason behind it and today we will explain why.
The primary reason we find people will take our test multiple times is that it so closely mirrors our Vision Restoration Therapy. Both can be done at home on a computer, both use light stimuli, and both are intended for survivors of stroke or other brain injury who may be experiencing Neurological Vision Loss. The reason we only allow prospective patients to take the Online Visual Field Screening Test one time is because that’s where the similarities end.
The principal difference between our Online Visual Field Screening Test and our Vision Restoration Therapy (VRT) is that one is a diagnostic test intended to determine your eligibility for VRT and pinpoint the areas of your visual field that not only need improvement but also have the best chance of recovery. VRT on the other hand is a comprehensive therapy, prescribed and overseen by medical professionals. This may seem like an obvious distinction since these characteristics are in the name but this detail is often overlooked.
What’s the Big Difference?
We realize that simply stating that the test is a test and the therapy is a therapy may not be the answer you were looking for, so let’s take a closer look at the differences.
On The Matter of Light Stimulation: The Online Visual Field Screening Test works with small light stimuli that is only shown for a very short period of time. The stimuli are presented all over the visual field. This is because the test is looking to paint a complete picture of the current state of your visual field in order to identify areas that do and do not need improvement.
On the other hand, the light stimulation used in VRT is larger and far more targeted. The stimuli are focused only on the area of your visual field that has damage as opposed to the entire area. More specifically, our Vision Restoration Therapy focuses on the areas of the visual field that have the best likelihood of improvement.
These differences are important because, If the light stimuli is not targeting a specific area and not set up by an experienced therapist and with specific parameters, that challenge the patient in exactly the right way, the patient will not see any improvement in his or her field of vision.
Time Spent: The Online Visual Field Screening Test was designed to be fast, convenient, and easy to take. We wanted anyone and everyone who may be concerned about visual field loss to start getting answers as soon as possible so they may explore the path to recovery that is best suited for them. The test takes between 2 and 5 minutes total.
Vision Restoration Therapy is an FDA-cleared therapy designed to restore vision loss due to neurological brain damage that is based on several decades of scientific research. Unlike the vision test, VRT must be prescribed to you by a doctor. Unlike the one time test, the therapy is monitored and updated monthly by NovaVision Clinical Staff as therapy progresses and vision is improved.
In summary, restoring something as precious as your vision takes a great deal of work. Although the Online Visual Field Screening Test can provide valuable information and insights into the location and type of Visual Field Deficit, it isn’t a replacement for a comprehensive and clinically supported therapy being overseen by NovaVision staff. Where the visual field test is a one time and shouldn’t take over 5 minutes, VRT is performed twice a day, 6-7 days a week and should be completed at this pace for 6 months.
We hope this blog post provides some clarity into the fundamental differences between the Online Visual Field Screening Test and Vision Restoration Therapy. We strive to be a resource for you along your path to recovering your vision. If you are looking to explore VRT but have additional questions or may need help finding a physician, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.