The Visual Evoked Potential or VEP directly measures the activity of neurons in the visual system. It is a very useful technology that is now available to help us determine how your eye talks to your brain in a way that no other instrument, computer or test can. Here are some common questions and answers about the VEP.
Q: What is the VEP procedure used for?
A: The VEP is used primarily to determine how well each eye sends its signals through the optic nerve to the brain. VEP has been demonstrated to aid in the diagonis and treatment of many disorders including amblyopia, brain injury, stroke, mulitple sclerosis, and other vision-related issues.
Q: How is the VEP recorded?
A: The VEP is the visual version of the EEG (electroencephalogram), and is recorded with three electrodes that are briefly pasted to the front, middle and back of the head. It is non-invasive and very safe.
Q: How much time does the VEP take?
A: About 30 minutes total, though obtaining the recordings once we're ready is a matter of only 10 or 60 second of looking at a checkerboard pattern on a screen for each recording.
Q: What if my child can't pay attention?
A: There are cartoon pictures that we interpose to help. Sometimes an assistant will tap the screen. In fact, there is a version of the VEP that we use to help evaluate infants. Features of the VEP can even give us objective information about visual attention. It might be helpful to bring a favorite item such as a blanket, pacifer, or toy to make them feel more comfortable duting the test.
Q: Is there any special preparation needed?
A: It helps to get a good night's sleep before, and to shampoo the hair before coming in. We clean a few areas of the scalp carefully before applying the electrodes with some paste, so the scalp is a little sticky when we're done.
Q: Does insurance pay for this test?
A: Many carriers do reimburse for this procedure.
Learn more at: www.diopsys.com