Virtual reality has become a game-changing technology in the world of vision testing. Generally, we are talking about options that people use in video gaming due to various technical expenses and problems that occurred in other industries.
Nowadays, you can find a wide array of options available on the market that do not come with a delay, which means that you can use them for numerous reasons.
You can use it in numerous fields, from realistic training simulators to entertainment. However, it is also effective to use it for medical purposes, especially ophthalmology, which we will discuss in the further article.
When it comes to visual testing, you should know that most screening methods use real-life conditions that feature visible obstacles and challenges people face daily.
A single study that used Oculus Rift to test people’s balance to the sense of motion stated that it is adequate for determining a current vision loss due to glaucoma.
It would help if you remembered that we tend to use eyes in dynamic motions in real-life settings, which involves using complex senses we cannot work in medical settings.
The most common screening methods for vision loss are static ones. Still, implementing a dynamic stimulus is way more effective in determining and evaluate the level of impairment for a glaucoma patient.
They used the latest 3D VR environment to learn more about how patients with glaucoma function in real-life settings. Therefore, the subjects wore VR glasses or Oculus Rifts while standing on a platform.
They have projected various visual stimuli, including standing in a rotating environment and going through a tunnel. Generally, most people reacted by shifting their bodies to compensate inability to see.
At the same time, a particular platform has measured the amount of body force they used to prevent balance loss.
However, things changed with patients that had glaucoma because their responses were different from others. Generally, their reactions were more erratic, which meant they did not have enough balance compared with healthy subjects.
At the same time, they have found that metrics could predict the potential falling risks, which created an analysis of who performed better than others.
This study has shown that VR can offer ophthalmologists an opportunity to prevent in-office testing constraints that cannot measure real-life problems.
The main reason for that is because in-office tests cannot predict the way people would handle real-life and surroundings.
A VR has the potential of providing a more realistic approach to determining and assessing visual impairments than other options.
Since the technology is becoming more affordable and will reach a point where anyone can use them, opticians and ophthalmologists will use the same thing in their offices without expensive platforms and additions.
Visual Field Testing With VR
You probably understand by now that virtual reality visual testing will become a necessity for most opticians and ophthalmologists. Therefore, as time goes by, it will become one of the most important aspects of dealing with and managing glaucoma issues.
Remember that visual field testing is essential for dealing with this problem, but it can be challenging and problematic. Most patients do not enjoy them, which is why you should think about other means.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic affects people around us and prevents us from reaching our vision care professionals, the need for mobile visual tests became a necessity.
VR field testing can help you reach the desired goals you wanted in the first place. Even after the pandemic, it can help professionals ensure this testing comes without hassle or additional issues.
Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWPSlcROac8 to learn more about home eye testing with VR technology.
Virtual vs. Traditional
You should know that regular visual field screenings require an expensive, bulky, and oversized piece of equipment, darkroom, and trained technician. It is vital to remember that VR-based options can deal with this problem.
The main reason is that VR options feature head-mounted displays such as headsets or goggles, which means they are both portable and small. At the same time, they are available for anyone on the market.
Of course, their cost is a few hundred dollars, but they are more affordable than other visual field equipment.
As an ophthalmologist, you should undergo practical training when using this headset, mainly because you will not need a technician’s help for the process. Instead, you can take it home.
The main idea is to train patients by using video calls and teach them how to conduct home-based visual field tests. Therefore, they do not have to reach a particular clinic to get it beforehand.
Since the screening requires a VR environment, you will not need a dark room for the process. Besides, most of them can test both eyes simultaneously, which will ensure additional convenience and comfort for your patients.
Still, the market does not come with a standardized test that can help patients with DIY screenings. Therefore, scientists are conducting various studies to determine whether they can help monitor and diagnose glaucoma.
It is essential to find ways to standardize this particular care, but have in mind that the future will surely bring it. That way, patients can handle everything in remote locations by using specific apps.
One of the most significant benefits of at-home screening is that you do not require fixation,likean eye doctor’s office. Today, you will have to stare at the same spot for the next ten minutes, which can be problematic and overwhelming for most people.
Instead, they can use and implement a VR environment and deal with fixation tasks by following a target they see. It is important to understand everything about AI driven VR eye exam, which will help you determine the best course of action.
On the other hand, the main problem lies in limited data because FR visual field tests cannot replace SAP because they are not FDA-approved. Still, the screening algorithm requires more research, which is something that will happen soon.
The studies are ongoing, which means that we can expect it to happen in the next few years.