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Peripheral Vision Loss – Tunnel Vision

Home » Low Vision Eye Diseases » Peripheral Vision Loss

An IALVS eye doctor can help expand your field of view

Peripheral vision, defined as side vision, is what enables you to see the objects that surround you without moving your eyes or turning your head. It also helps you to sense motion around you, and to navigate your environment without crashing into anything. Think of the expression “I saw it out of the corner of my eye” – that’s what peripheral vision does for you!

So, what happens when you suffer peripheral vision loss? Losing your side vision creates a condition that is also called “tunnel vision.” It is when your field of vision has been narrowed down to the point that you can’t see sideways without rotating your head. With peripheral vision loss, it is hard, if not impossible, to see the outer edges of your visual field.

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How can low vision aids help with tunnel vision?

In order to benefit from low vision aids, you first need to visit an IALVS eye doctor near you for a thorough eye exam. You need a qualified, experienced professional to assess your eyesight in order to match you with the most helpful low vision aids – so that you can see as much of your surroundings as possible.

  • Do you bump into other shoppers at the mall, especially when it is crowded?
  • Do you fall off the curb or walk into poles when strolling along the sidewalk?
  • Are you scared to drive, especially at night?

Our IALVS doctors are knowledgeable about the range of low vision devices to help with tunnel vision. For example:

  • Prism-based eyeglasses can redirect side images to the middle of your view, so you see them clearly. These field-expanding glasses can also help with night vision.
  • Specialized handheld or eyeglass-mounted lenses work by reducing image size, thereby fitting more visual information into your visual field.

By fitting you with the most suitable low vision aids, we can help you locate objects on the edge of your normal field of vision and travel more safely.

What causes peripheral vision loss?

Most of the time, tunnel vision is a side effect of other medical conditions, such as:

  • Glaucoma: this disease can cause optic nerve damage, which leads to a loss of side vision
  • Occlusions: these “eye strokes” can block blood flow to the inner eye structures, including the optic nerve
  • Retinitis pigmentosa: this progressive eye disease targets and damages the light-sensitive retinal cells, and the resulting vision loss often leads to tunnel vision
  • Strokes, head injury, brain injury: when blood flow to the brain is disrupted, it can cause visual disturbances, such as a loss of side vision
  • Detached retina: when the retina detaches from the back of the eye, the field of vision can be restricted; retinal detachment is a sight-threatening eye emergency
  • Neurological damage: optic neuritis, an inflammation that damages the optic nerve, is one example of a neurological problem that can cause pain and peripheral vision loss
  • Compressed optic nerve: a swelling of the optic disc, called papilledema, can lead to vision problems
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How is peripheral vision loss diagnosed?

Your eye doctor will administer visual field testing to check for blank spots in your eyesight. This test measures how you see objects in your full field of vision. Sometimes, visual field testing can detect problematic areas that you may not have noticed yet. If you suffer from an eye disease, such as glaucoma, this test may be repeated once or twice a year in order to monitor for changes in your vision.

What is the treatment for tunnel vision?

When peripheral vision loss is caused by a degenerative eye disease, such as glaucoma or retinitis pigmentosa, the damage cannot be reversed. However, controlling the disease can help slow the deterioration of your sight and/or prevent any further loss of your visual field.

If your loss of side vision is caused by other conditions, such as a concussion, there is a good chance that it will be temporary and full vision will return over time.

Book an eye exam with an IALVS eye doctor for help with peripheral vision loss

A wide variety of low vision aids are available for people who have suffered peripheral vision loss, and our IALVS doctors are specially trained to fit the most suitable device to each patient. We attend regular seminars on the latest advances in understanding and enhancing low vision, and we’re passionate about making sure our patients benefit from the newest technologies available.

When combined with low vision rehabilitation, low vision aids can enhance your reduced vision significantly. At present, many revolutionary technologies are on the market, such as prismatic, field-expanding tunnel vision glasses. Contact an IALVS eye doctor to book a personalized consultation for help with tunnel vision syndrome. Our low vision doctors are here to help so you can start doing the things you want to do again.

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