A visual evoked potential test (VEP) is used to look for problems in the brain or nerves that affect vision. A machine records brain waves related to the nerves that make up the visual pathway.
Optic Nerve and Muscles
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This test is often used to:
Diagnose and follow
Test vision in children and adults who are unable to read eye chartsLook for evidence of optic nerve damage, tumors or neuritis
There are many symptoms that might lead your doctor to order a VEP. You may be having double vision, blurred vision, or loss of part or all of your vision.
There are no major complications associated with this procedure.
You will be given instructions to prepare for the test, such as: Wash your hair. Avoid hair chemicals such as hair sprays and gels.Get a good night’s sleep.Bring any corrective eyewear.
Wires will be attached to your scalp with tape. A patch will be placed over one eye. You will watch a screen with your other eye. The process is then repeated with the opposite eye covered.
The wires will be removed from your head.
You will be able to leave after the test is done.
Your doctor will discuss the results with you and any further treatment that may be needed.
Call your doctor if you have any concerns.
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Evoked potentials (EP). National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at:
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/Diagnosing-Tools/Evoked-Potentials. Accessed May 16, 2016.
Evoked potentials studies. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/neurological/evoked_potentials_studies_92,P07658. Accessed May 16, 2016.
Visually evoked potentials. Webvision website. Available at:
http://webvision.med.utah.edu/book/electrophysiology/visually-evoked-potentials. Updated July 14, 2015. Accessed May 16, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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