Causes of Peripheral Vision Problems
Peripheral vision problemscan be as debilitating as other vision issues, especially if you lose your peripheral vision. This condition is also sometimes referred to as "tunnel vision," and can dramatically affect your quality of life. Severe peripheral vision problems can make it impossible to drive or even to orient yourself in a room as you walk through it. Because you can only see straight ahead, your sense of place is greatly diminished, making it difficult or impossible to safely navigate everyday life.
What is Peripheral Vision?
Peripheral vision refers to your ability to see to either side while you are looking straight ahead. The amount of peripheral vision is measured according to the angle at which you can still see an object held to either side of you. When an ophthalmologist evaluates your visual health, peripheral vision is one of the elements tested. Peripheral vision tests are also often included in vision tests to determine if you are eligible for a driver's license, since severe peripheral vision loss can make it unsafe for you to drive.
What Causes Peripheral Vision Loss?
A variety of conditions can lead to tunnel vision. In many instances, peripheral vision loss is an indication of serious problems with your eyes. For example, one of the most common causes of peripheral vision loss is glaucoma. In this disease, pressure builds up within the eyeball until damage to the retina results. Regular visits to the eye doctor can prevent glaucoma from progressing rapidly. Peripheral vision loss is a fairly late-stage symptom of glaucoma, and should be mentioned to your doctor immediately.
Other causes of peripheral vision loss include:
Any loss of vision, including peripheral vision loss or reduction, should be evaluated promptly to determine the root cause, especially since some causes of vision loss can be dangerous. Some causes of peripheral vision loss, if left untreated, can lead to permanent blindness.
New York City eye surgeon James Kelly, MD, helps diagnose and treat peripheral vision loss. For more information, please visit his website.