Peripheral vision issues indicate that you do not have a normal, wide-angle field of vision, even though your main vision might be great. Moderate and severe cases of peripheral vision loss produce the experience of seeing through a narrow tube, a condition frequently described as “one-track mind.”
Symptoms of peripheral vision loss likewise can consist of problem seeing in dim light and reduced ability to navigate while you are walking.
What Causes Peripheral Vision Loss?
A typical reason for loss of peripheral vision (likewise called a peripheral field problem) is optic nerve damage from glaucoma.
Eye “strokes” (occlusions) that block normal blood flow to the eye’s internal structures, including the optic nerve, also can cause loss of peripheral vision.
A stroke or injury also may harm parts of the brain where images are processed, leading to blind spots in the visual field.
Standard causes of peripheral vision loss consist of:
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Eye strokes or occlusions
- Separated retina
- Mental retardation from stroke, disease or injury
- Neurological damage such as from optic neuritis
- Compressed optic nerve head (papilledema)
- Concussions (head injuries)
If you have an abrupt decline in peripheral vision, see your eye doctor instantly. Sudden loss of peripheral vision might suggest a detached retina, which is a medical emergency that needs to be treated as soon as possible to prevent long-term vision loss.
Treatments For Peripheral Vision Loss
Sadly, there are no simple vision correction choices such as conventional spectacles or contact lenses that can fix irreversible loss of peripheral vision. A kind of lens referred to as a prism in some cases can be added to your spectacles prescription to broaden your field of view if you have certain types of peripheral vision loss.
If you have glaucoma, the best “treatment” for tunnel vision is avoidance. If eye drops are recommended, you definitely should take your glaucoma medication frequently to control high eye pressure, or you risk irreversible optic nerve damage and advancement of blind spots in your visual field. Left without treatment, glaucoma can result in irreversible loss of peripheral vision and even blindness.
Therapy also may be available for blind spots developed by mental retardation. University of Rochester Eye Institute scientists in New York just recently discovered that particular vision therapy techniques may assist individuals gain back at least some visual field loss connected to harm in the brain’s primary visual cortex.
Even if you have normal vision, you may use some techniques such as those taught by sports vision professionals to train yourself to see better in the peripheral parts of your field of vision. These methods can be helpful especially if you have to sharpen your peripheral vision abilities for sports such as basketball and baseball.
If you have irreversible loss of peripheral vision, you should consider visiting a low vision expert who can advise you about unique eyeglasses or optical devices that may assist with movement issues triggered by one-track mind.
Likewise, be aware that lowered peripheral vision may impact your ability to drive securely. A low vision specialist can tell you about the level of your peripheral vision loss and whether your remaining vision satisfies the legal requirement for a legitimate driver’s license in your state.