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DVLA Visual Field Test


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Hi

As a result of my left occipital brain haemorrhage it has caused me to have issues with my right peripheral vision. As a result the DVLA have summoned me to have a visual field test (at a nearby hospital optician) to determine whether I can still keep my licence.

 

Has anyone ever done the visual field test for the DVLA? I understand you do it with both eyes and they test quite a wide field. The only visual field tests I've ever done are with one eye at a time. I'm really nervous about the test because I really really don't want to lose my licence (I've not been driving since my haemorrhage but my vision has improved slightly since it happened and I'm hoping there is a tiny chance it may still improve further).

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Hi Chloe,

I used to work with an Optician who did the DVLA visual field screening tests.

I don't know if it will be different due to you being tested through the hospital, but I've a little advice I can offer, hope it's of help.

 

I have had to have a few of these tests myself at the hospital following my SAH but not for DVLA as I don't drive.

 

As far as I am aware the test will be done one eye at a time whist the other eye is covered with a patch.

They won't be able to give you the result there and then, they will reply directly to the DVLA.

The test normally lasts a bit longer than a standard visual field test, as they are testing a wider field so your'll have more lights to see, varying in brightness.

 

The test does take quite a bit of concentration and I'd advise not to do it if you're feeling poorly or tired.

Perhaps you could call them ahead of your appointment and ask for more information, I've done that myself with appointments, phoned up and explained that I've had a stroke and feel more anxious in these situations, they might be able to put you at ease.

Good luck.

Take care,

SarahLou Xx

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Hi SarahLou

Thanks for taking the time to reply to me :)

 

In actual fact the test you've described with the eye patch are the ones I've been having with my ophthalmologist, but according to the DVLA letter I received and information I've found online (along with what my ophthalmologist told me), the test I will do will be with both eyes simultaneously. I don't expect there will be any difference with the test being done at a hospital - I think that just happens to be the nearest place to me that is approved by the DVLA.

 

I realise that I won't get a verdict on the day, but am I allowed to obtain a copy of my results (I'd be interested in seeing them and also showing them to my ophthalmologist)?

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Hello

I am a retired Optometrist ( retired due to my SAH 6 years ago) and I used to do the Esterman visual field test for the DVLA.

 

The test is done with both eyes together as if you were driving, this actually means if one eye has a field defect the other eye may well have vision covering that patch of the visual field so it is ok. It does take a bit longer than a normal field test but is not scary, you do have to concentrate and just keep alert!

The DVLA do allow for some missed spots of light but their worry is if there is an area with a patch of several missed spots close together.

 

I was not allowed to tell the patient the result of the test, we had to send the results in to the DVLA and they made the decision.

 

I had the test done myself before I started to drive again following my SAH for peace of mind.

I read the posts regularly with great interest and follow everyone's progress, but don't often write in myself.

 

Good luck with the test. Hopefully the person doing the test will make sure you are comfortable and are well aware of what is going to happen.

Best wishes Anne :shock:

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Hi Chloe,

I have replied to your pm but forgot to mention that I asked for the results. They printed an extra copy out for me. You can see all the bits you've missed just like the the opthalmology one, but you can't tell from it how the DVLA will rule it as we don't know what their requirements are.

 

As you know, due to your loss being homonymous, one eye won't be covering for the other. :frown: Let's hope the area is small enough to meet the criteria.

Good luck

All fingers crossed on that day Ladies!!

Sally

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I hope the eye test goes well for you Hoofbeat and I just wanted to say how fantastic I think it is when people who usually are more silent members contribute with their expertise and advice on threads. I know if I was having another eye test that hearing from a SAHer optometrist would really assure me. Our shared knowledge and experiences bring us strength and can shrink fears, that's pretty fantastic.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi my husband failed  the field the test after having a small stroke. He has slight restricted vision in his corner of the right eye .

He suffers from white coat syndrome so he is anxious with any test he has had following the stroke .been discharged from the stroke clinic as he is now slimmer fitter and no other symptoms apart from this failed field test .

 

The Dvla  decision has devastated him as this is his independence and source of transport to the gym. Dvla has said to try again in 12 months but  I don't want him to lose confidence by not keeping up his driving skills . 

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Hey Maureen. You could have been writing about me in 2016!

 

I believe that unless there is a visual loss that precludes your husband from ever getting his licence back, then he should hopefully be able to get it back, but he will have to be patient and will need to jump through some hoops.

 

None of them are complicated but they are, nonetheless, important. I had peripheral loss of vision (IN BOTH EYES) and still do. I got my licence back 20 months after my stroke. Some take longer so don't give up!

 

Please also be aware that there are those who drive with vision in only one eye. It is not, in the final analysis, about how much you can see but how well you can drive with the vision that you have. That sounds counter-intuitive but unless the loss of vision is profound and more central to the eyes then a small amount of visual loss on the periphery is perhaps not a biggie. Having said that, the DVLA have the final say on whether the licence is returned, even after all the doctors reports and the driving assessment.

 

Some things to realise; there are many here who were in the same situation and are now happily back on the road, inc me. Once I received the letter from the DVLA revoking my licence but telling me that I could re-apply after a year (subject to certain criteria) I never ever felt that I wouldn't get my licence back. My wife was less sure than I but she is not a great fan of being behind the wheel. Chauffering is not her idea of a fun time and passengering is not mine! 

 

I presume, although you do not say, that he has received such a letter from DVLA and it states that he is able to re-apply after a year, so long as he has had no recurring 'stroke event'? See attached (part) letter that I received from DVLA on that fateful day when my licence was revoked. I have highlighted the parts he needs to focus on a tried to offer a little explanation for each 'hoop' that needs to be jumped through. 

 

Let us know where you are with the matter and what letters, if any, you have received and we will be able to help.

 

In two weeks time I shall be going out to Spain to 'hoon' around in my car with other like minded pals. It is like a dream holiday for me as there were time when I had to resign myself to the fact that I may not drive again. I never gave up and pushed through till the glorious day when I was told I would get my licence back (May 24th 2017 at 4.36 if I remember rightly. 😀).

 

I am also going to tell you to keep posting here and giving us updates. Better still, get your husband to post here. I am always happy to spend time keeping someone's spirits up! 

 

If your husband hasn't received the above letter, or some form like it, then you must let us know where he is with the DVLA at the moment and we can then, hopefully, guide you to dealing with it.

 

You should get your husband to read this section (not just this thread) top to bottom. There is much here to give hope and information. All the very best to you and your hubby. Also, get your husband a bike and tell him to ride to the gym. 😉

 

 

DVLA Letter.pdf

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I should also ask Maureen, has he been for an Esterman test (as requested by the DVLA? If so, he should have received a formal letter from them providing the results in graph form and what his next step is. I am hoping that the letter is per my letter as attached in my post above.

 

JM

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Having re-read my earlier post I think it would be useful to add information about item 7 on the list in the letter from the DVLA as it has caused confusion in the past. 

 

Basically the DVLA just want to know that, despite your loss of vision, you have no trouble functioning in every day life. They want to have someone (such as a Doctor or Occupational Therapist) report that you can get bathed and dressed without aid, can do shopping by yourself, can cross the road, take a bus, etc etc. You know, all the normal stuff that life throws at you every day.

 

I don't know where you live Maureen but I travel into London every day for my work and I have to admit that the visual loss, albeit peripheral, made crowds in the busy train and underground stations quite daunting. People coming from all directions, not being able to see people approaching from the right hand side. I got used to it very quickly and just moved my head to accommodate the need to see all the people on my right. Peripheral vision to the left took care of that side. It was hard at first but the only thing that was, to me, a challenge. 

 

It would be good to hear from you or your husband Maureen, if only to offer some comfort.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

All the above posts and replies are really helpful. I had an SAH IN DEC2018 so I had to wait a year to take the Field of Vision test and apply for Exceptional Case status. Failed Field of Vision test at hospital in Jan 2020.  

 

However, I had the seven conditions to apply to be achieve Exceptional Case status.  I have lost some peripheral vision in both eyes, but I have been playing top standard table-tennis twice a week since two weeks after my SAH. Still waiting to hear from DVLA: how can I prove to them that I do everything as pre-stroke except drive?

 

Any help or advice gratefully received.

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Welcome Vincent. I am sorry to hear your story but you are in the right place to get advice. Many here (inc me) have successfully got their licence back after an SAH. I know it may take some time but I suggest you look further than this thread alone to get to the nub of the advice. Perhaps in the thread called 'quadrantanopia' is a good start. Massive amount of information there.

 

The top standard table tennis could come into play if you get to the stage of providing a report that you are adapting to life with the loss of vision (one of the criteria that needs to be passed in order to get exceptional case standard and get your licence back.

 

It sounds like you have taken an Esterman Test. Is that the case? Have you received the letter from the DVLA about the seven conditions? By the sound of it you have but you stated 'I HAD the seven conditions....' rather than I PASSED the seven conditions. Your post is a little unclear in exactly where you stand at the moment.

 

If you let us know what the DVLA have told you (perhaps even post a scanned copy of the letter you received - without address of course!) we will be in a much better place to advise. It say that you had to wait one year to get a field of vision test (presumably for the first time?). This wasn't the way they treated me so there is clearly some difference between cases. I had an Esterman test at Optical Express (paid for by the DVLA) soon after they revoked my licence.

 

Because I didnt pass that they DVLA assessed my loss of vision and deemed me eligible to be an exceptional case but this still meant I had to wait one year to reapply, have no other visual diplopia; have no other event in the following year, have a further field of vision test towards the end of the year to make sure there was no deterioration etc etc etc. All hoops have to be jumped through and the DVLA can take their time too! Sometimes frustrating. 

 

Come back here and give us an accurate history of the dealings with the DVLA. We cannot comment on the results of the visual tests as we are not doctors or optometrists but we can certainly offer advice about the process of reapplication. Just read the letter from the DVLA carefully and do all it says you need to do. It is usually quite clear but some people need it to be interpreted as it isn't always obvious what is meant by each of the requirements.

 

It tool me 20 months from start to finish to get my licence back. Let joy be unconfined on that day....full story in another thread right here!

 

Good luck!

 

JohnnieM

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Many, many thanks, Johnnie.

 

To cut to the chase, my license was revoked following a DVLA-arranged and paid for Field of Vision test at Specsavers.

 

I failed this test which is when I received the DVLA letter listing seven criteria to apply for exceptional case status. I  waited for a year to elapse since my SAH and had an appointment with Head Orthoptician at my local hospital. She kindly wrote to the DVLA to support my claim. 

 

After MANY weeks the DVLA asked me to request her support to confirm that I had adapted efficiently to my loss of peripheral vision. The thing is, neither she nor my GP really know me from Adam, but she did say that I play League standard table-tennis, walk on obscur public footpaths in the countryside, and shop and cook as before. 

 

The Occupational Health team checked my everyday skills for a couple of weeks immediately following the SAH.

 

I have advised the DVLA of the foregoing,  and I would be prepared for any test or assessment of my driving.  

 

When I refer to the field of Vision test, I am presuming that it is the same thing as the Easterman test. 

 

 I hope this clarifies my situation.  

 

Once again, I cannot thank you enough for your knowledge and help;  also this wonderful website.  I shall take your sage advice also to search quadrantanopia on this site. 

 

Vincent.

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Thanks for the clarification Vincent. I now see where you are in  the process. If I might take each requirements in order, bearing in mind that you have a failed another Esterman test; ie, your vision has not got better and therefore you still need to show that '.....you meet ALL the exceptional case criteria', as detailed in your letter from DVLA. Also, the letter you received from DVLA detailing the criteria is the ONLY document you need to focus on now.

 

1) 'The visual field defect needs to have been present for at least 12 months'. - This seems to be the case. You can write to DVLA to reapply for your licence and state the exact dates of the revocation of the licence, when you had esterman tests etc etc.

 

2) 'The visual field defect must have been caused by an isolated event or a non-progressive condition'. This is quite obvious but you need to be able to confirm that you have had no further SAH's or any other 'events' that might have caused the visual defect to worsen. The review by the Opthalmologist (arranged by the DVLA) should do the trick. They will re-test your eyes and send a report to DVLA but I think the DVLA will only arrange this when you apply for the licence back.

 

3) 'There must be no other condition or pathology present which is regarded as progressive and likely to be affecting the visual fields'. See my comment in item 2 above. This will be covered by the report from the Opthalmologist arranged by the DVLA (you can choose the hospital you go to so long as they have a consultant Opthalmologist - DVLA choose one usually based on where you live).

 

4) 'There must be sight in both eyes'. No comment required here.

 

5) 'There must be no uncontrolled diplopia'. This will also be covered by the comment in item 2 above. Google the word - it's not scary!

 

6) 'There must be no other impairment of visual function, including glare sensitivity, contrast sensitivity or impairment of twilight vision'. Also covered by comment in item 2 above!

 

7) 'There must be clinical confirmation of full function adaptation to the defect (this is likely to have occurred if scanning movements of the head and eyes are such that everyday activities are not impaired)' - I find this a bit ambiguously written but basically it means that you need someone (an 'expert') to write a letter confirming that you are well able to cope with everyday life - shopping, getting dressed, crossing the road, travelling to and from work, walking amongst crowds (obv not now!!) etc etc.

 

I got my doctor to write a 'the whom it may concern' letter but I note that your doctor doesn't know you that well. Nor did mine but he can surely do some pretty basic tests in order to confirm that you are doing well? Your 'Orthoptician's' letter may also help. If push comes to shove then pay an occupational therapist to do some tests with you and produce a report. I got a quote for this (it's quite expensive but I was prepared to pay almost anything!) but didn't need it in the end.

 

My view is that you should first call the DVLA on the telephone number detailed in your letter and explain that you want to re-apply for your licence but are yet to have an appointment with a consultant Opthalmologist. They will explain how that works and tell you what you need to do. They may email or write (I forget now) but they should help you proceed in accordance with their own requirements.

 

Once you have ALL the information they require and the Opthalmologist's report has been received and reviewed by them, along with the remaining information, they will (eventually) ask you to arrange a driving assessment. This is the beginning of the end of the process. Once you get to that point come back here and tell us all about it. We can give you the full SP on what to expect.

 

Finally, be pushy but polite with the people at the DVLA. The system can be pathetically slow and rather frustrating at times. The people you will speak to are not in control of what goes on in the background (as the decisions are all made by their Doctors, not their telephonists) but will be sympathetic to your cause and treat you with respect.

 

If they do not reach their required response times (it's something like 3 weeks but you will need to check) then issue a simple complaint letter  (I can supply a copy of mine if needed). This should speed things up a bit and enable you to progress quicker than perhaps you otherwise would. Having said that, you should expect the complaint to take up to three weeks for them to deal with. 🤣

 

Focus now on contacting the DVLA and speaking to someone about your case. Ask them what the next step is and move forward that way.

 

Good luck and keep in touch.

 

 

 

 

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Johnnie, you're a star!  

 

Some good news. Before I received your comprehensive email yesterday, I gave the DVLA a ring yesterday. The initial DVLA  recorded message stated that no calls were being accepted. I persevered and spoke to a member of staff who stated that I will have to sit a driving assessment, and i will receive a letter to this effect in due course, which is all I ever wanted.  I'm very happy but I realise that with the corvid 19 lockdown it could be a long wait.

 

At least I know that things are moving.

 

Many,many thanks for all the time and care that you've taken in helping me and others.

 

Vincent.

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Well well Vincent! That seems to have taken a major step forward!! I wasn't expecting that news but what a great update! Sounds like you'll be back on those B roads before you know it. Be prepared for the interminable wait for that notification to arrange a driving assessment but don't feel embarrassed to call the DVLA often for news on how it's coming along. They are usually very understanding.

 

Keep us updated and let us know when you get an assessment. Also, when you are told to arrange an assessment, call the driving centre and arrange the date, then apply for a cancellation. I got my assessment within three weeks. Let joy be unconfined!
 

Good luck!

 

JM

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Johnnie, once again many thanks.

 

It can be Kafkaesque ,however,dealing with the DVLA.  When I rang on Monday the eigth, the person professed no knowledge of my good news from the week before and said the medical team hadn't even looked at my case.    I was speechless!   

 

When I gathered my thoughts and cooled down I rang again in the afternoon and spoke to someone else who , after putting me on hold to investigate,  stated that I have been recommended for assessment,  but that the assessments have grinded to a halt because of Corvid 19.   I still do not have my assessment news in writing,  but I assume a backlog for the same reason.   

 

I'll certainty take your advice 're.cancellations. 

 

Many thanks.  Vincent.

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Vincent. You seem way ahead of where I would have expected you to be but this may be a lack of knowledge of your situation and the processes you have been through. There is likely to be a delay from the part of the DVLA but this is normal (just perhaps more profound under current circs!). The assessments will be at a full stop until social distancing is no longer required. Come back here when you have a date and we can outline what to expect on the assessment day. 

 

Enjoy the weekend. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Good morning , I have just come across this and decided to sign up just to try and get some advice, my husband suffered several strokes in January and has just been for his first field test yesterday which he has failed and was told that was it basically!

 

He didn’t pass what was needed to be able to drive and this has absolutely broken him. He has lost quite a bit of vision in the top of his right eye can anyone at all please tell me where we go from here? What will happen next ?

 

I feel with what’s going on at the moment “Covid” we were in and out in no time.  We were in complete shock to be honest, so didn’t ask enough questions, although I did ask about glasses or prism and was told these wouldn’t help.

 

He is absolutely devastated at the thought of never driving again. Please any help or advice would be appreciated. I’m in the Uk 

 

Thank you Tania.  

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Hi Tania

 

So sorry to hear about your husband. It's always a bit of a shock when we lose our freedom to drive. It's not the end of the story though so please try to hold on to some hope. 

 

We need to know a lot more yet so perhaps you could tell us why he went for the field of vision test. Was it requested by the DVLA? If it was then the optician (presumably Specsavers or some such company?) will send their findings to DVLA and they will then write to him with what happens next. 

 

The first thing they'll do is to ask for his licence back but they could also tell him that he could be considered under 'exceptoinal circumstances' to regain his licence. There are copies of these letters in this thread (see my post of 29th August 2019 above). If he gets this letter, there is a good chance that he will be fine but it will definitely take some time. It took me 20 months to get mine back.

 

Let us know what happens and we can offer more advice as the process unfolds. I must caution you that if the DVLA say his eyesight (visual defect) is too severe, then there is a chance he will not get his licence back. There is nothing that can be done about this. It is the way it is.

 

I wish him good luck. Make sure you keep us up to date.

 

JM

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Hi Johnnie, 

Thank you so much for your reply. It was the hospital and his occupational therapist that have arranged the appointment for him, as she was hoping to work with him on the vision loss for driving but with what the lady that did the test is saying I know that won’t  happen now.

 

The OT wanted to send him for a driving assessment but has been told 'no' from hospital as the loss of vision is quite severe.

 

We just don’t know where to turn or what to do, does eyesight get better ? Can you do anything to help it ? Is this really the end for his driving ? Can he ever try to get it back ?

 

Sorry for all the questions I just feel helpless for him, 

 

Thanks again,

 

Tania 

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