Side vision loss affects eyesight outside the central field of vision, as a result of damage to the eye’s structures or a section of the brain responsible for sensory input. This damage may occur in conjunction with conditions affecting the rest of the body, or in the absence of any external complications. It can occur in one eye or both. Loss of side vision encompasses eyesight to the sides and above and below our central line of vision. It can occur suddenly or gradually, so it may be difficult to detect.
Peripheral vision is the visual field that lies outside the center of gaze, essentially what you can see "out of the corner of your eye." Unlike central vision, which helps us focus on details and colors directly in front of us, peripheral vision is less sharp but more sensitive to motion and light changes. It's essential for a wide range of activities, from driving and playing sports to simply walking around safely.
While peripheral vision loss can sometimes be congenital, occur secondary to eye injuries or optic nerve damage, result from a stroke, or from medications, it is most frequently caused by degenerative eye diseases such as Glaucoma:
Testing for peripheral visual impairment may include:
Low vision optometrists are uniquely equipped to treat low vision disorders. Since the deficits of such complications are often irreversible, treatment for such complications are focused on improving the patient's visual fields and includes the use of special visual devices along with rehabilitation therapy to learn to maximize remaining vision.There are primarily two effective ways to assist peripheral vision loss:
Additional devices and options include the use of good lighting, assistive technologies, and optimal use of settings on hardware devices, which enable personalized modifications of brightness, lighting, contrast, and magnification.
The following are common signs or indicators of peripheral vision loss. It should be noted that there are people who experience no symptoms.
While it would seem that the most apparent sign would be a loss or reduction of side vision, this may not be as readily apparent as changes to the central field of vision. Loss of side vision may be harder to detect.
If you experience a loss of side vision, or are uncertain if it is deteriorating, make an appointment with our low vision optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam and to begin an early treatment plan. Depending on the findings, our low vision optometrist may recommend an evaluation with other specialists to rule out other medical complications.
While low vision can be congenital (from birth) or secondary to optic nerve injury, degenerative eye conditions such as glaucoma are responsible for most cases of side vision loss. With proper use of vision devices such as prisms, and vision rehabilitation therapy, people with low vision deficits are able to continue with many of their daily activities and enjoy a high quality of life. If you are experiencing signs of side vision loss, contact a low vision optometrist to schedule a lwo vision examination.