Ocular electrophysiology: what do you need to know?

This article provides an overview of current ocular electrophysiological techniques and their role in the investigation and management of conditions likely to be encountered within contemporary eye care.

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Introduction

Clinicians are familiar with imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), which are objective but not functional, and psychophysical techniques such as visual field tests, which are functional but not objective. In contrast, the subject of this article, visual electrophysiology, is almost uniquely both functional and objective. Yet, the benefits of this are not always recognised; in fact, electrophysiology can often be viewed in the abstract as having little relevance to clinical care and patients. This article attempts to address this perception by providing an overview of the common techniques, how they relate to patients’ visual function and the potential applications of these techniques.

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