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Hoofbeat

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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Thank you ever so much for all the responses - you have definitely made me feel a bit more calm about the whole thing! I have the test next Wednesday so please keep your fingers crossed for then!

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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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Noted Maureen. Did your husband get the same letter as I did? (see attachment in my previous post) If so, that'll help when we need to advise further.

 

JohnnieM

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