The Humphrey Visual Field is a special automated procedure used to perform perimetry, a test that measures the entire area of peripheral vision that can be seen while the eye is focused on a central point.

Several basic conditions must be met for a successful map of the visual field to be produced by any method. The individual must be able to maintain a constant gaze toward a fixed location for several minutes. Each eye is tested separately while the opposite eye is covered with a patch. Refractive correction must be made with a test lens. Spectacles must not be worn because they can cause false defects in the visual field due to their shape [6]. In addition, correction must be made for presbyopia, to reduce accommodative strain. Standard adjustments for presbyopia are available based on age alone. To correct an astigmatism >0.75 diopters, a cylindrical lens must be used. If the eyelid or lashes obstruct the visual axis, the lid may be taped to the forehead to lift it out of the way.

During Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) testing, the patient places his head in the chinrest and fixes his gaze toward a central fixation point in a large, white bowl. As stated above, this test is an example of static perimetry. It assesses the ability to see a non-mobile stimulus which remains for a brief moment (200 ms) in the visual field. When the patient sees a presented stimulus, he presses the button on a handheld remote control. Different locations within a given region of the visual field are tested until the threshold, or the stimulus intensity seen 50% of the time, is seen at each test location.

Stimuli vary in size and luminous intensity. Goldmann size III (about ½ degree in diameter) is generally used, but Goldmann size V (approximately 2 degrees in diameter) is available for patients with decreased visual acuity (< 20/200) or other visual impairment. Goldmann sizes I, II, and III are rarely used clinically. The luminous intensity of the stimuli can be varied over a range of 0.08 to 10,000 apostilbs (asb). It is reported in decibels (dB) of attenuation, or dimming, extending from 0 dB (the brightest, unattenuated stimulus) to 51 dB (the dimmest, maximally attenuated stimulus). If the patient is unable to see even the brightest, unattenuated stimlulus, it is reported as <0 dB.

The Swedish Interactive Thresholding Algorithm (SITA) is frequently used. SITA is a forecasting procedure that uses Bayesian statistical properties that is similar to the methods used for providing weather information and predictions. SITA allows for more rapid analysis than would be possible without forecasting. By taking into account a user's results in nearby locations, stimuli that are unlikely to be seen, or extremely likely to be seen are not tested exhaustively. Instead the stimuli that are likely near threshold are tested.