Peripheral vision causes and treatments

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People with healthy eyes have two parts of vision: central vision and peripheral vision which are independent to each other. If a person has difficulty in seeing dim light or navigating while walking, he or she probably has a problem in peripheral vision. People with poor peripheral vision may be unable to see properly around the edges. These people can only rely on their central vision, just like the vision through a narrow tube. This describes exactly the condition of tunnel vision.

The importance of peripheral vision

Peripheral vision is important for certain sports such as football and basketball, which require good teamwork. People with normal vision may also need to use some techniques taught by sports vision specialist. In contrast, poor peripheral vision can affect many aspects of our daily lives such as driving. Related laws in some states even impose strict requirements on peripheral vision during people’s applications for a driver’s license.

Possible reasons for loss of peripheral vision

Loss of peripheral vision has a variety of potential causes. In detail, optic nerve damage caused by glaucoma, high intraocular pressure (IOP), eye strokes and blood flow blockage in the eye are some of the possible reasons for peripheral vision loss. In particular, glaucoma patients will suffer loss of peripheral vision gradually. And the final result is total tunnel vision. By the way, glaucoma patients may also experience eye pain and redness. Moreover, sudden peripheral vision loss is sometimes associated with retinal detachment, which requires an immediate treatment. Patients with this eye disease may feel a curtain hanging by one side of the face. Other contributing factors include eye occlusion, detached retina, certain brain damage, optic neuritis, concussion and so on.

Visual field testing for diagnosis

Once you have realized a loss of peripheral vision, it is highly encouraged to visit an eye doctor for a visual field testing, which can search out the position of potential blind spots. Through such a test, peripheral vision loss can be diagnosed and proper control should follow. Unlike common vision problems such as myopia and hyperopia, peripheral vision problems can not be cured or corrected simply by conventional eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Direct and indirect approaches to treatment for peripheral vision loss

However, a special type of lens named prism has been created to expand the vision field directly. These special lenses can only be prescribed by certain low vision specialists. Some indirect treatments for peripheral vision loss involve resolving the underlying causes. For instance, to prevent vision loss caused by glaucoma, patients should strictly follow the doctor’s instruction on administrating eye drops which help control the IOP at a low level. Without proper treatments, glaucoma can lead to permanent peripheral vision loss.