What Causes Peripheral Vision Loss

Dec 9, 2022 | Eye Health

What Causes Peripheral Vision Loss and How to Address It

Do you ever feel like you can’t see what’s happening on the edges of your vision? Peripheral vision loss is a condition in which you have difficulty seeing things that are outside of your direct line of sight. In this blog post, we will discuss what causes peripheral vision loss and what you should do if you think you are experiencing it.

What is peripheral vision?

Peripheral vision refers to part of sight outside of a person’s central field of vision and allows you to see objects to the side without having to move your eyes or head. When you notice something out of the corner of your eye, you are using your peripheral vision to do so. 

What is peripheral vision loss?

Peripheral vision loss, also known as tunnel vision, is a condition in which a person has gaps in or has lost their peripheral vision. The patient may experience a “tunneling” effect, wherein their central vision remains clear but their ability to detect movement in their peripheral field is impaired. This type of vision problem can have both physical and psychological impacts on the individual’s life.

What causes peripheral vision loss?

  • A detached retina can cause sudden loss of peripheral vision and is a medical emergency.
  • Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which damage the optic nerve. There are no obvious symptoms in the early stages, but as it progresses, peripheral vision loss occurs. The loss of peripheral vision is subtle at first, so you may not realize your vision is changing, but over time, you can lose your peripheral vision entirely. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause blindness. 
  • Diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes-related eye disease, damages the retina and can cause peripheral vision loss.  
  • Stroke can damage vision. Depending on the area in the brain which sustained damage, loss of peripheral vision can occur.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare eye diseases that affect the retina, causes peripheral vision loss. It is a genetic condition which typically begins in childhood.

Treating peripheral vision loss

Treating peripheral vision loss depends on the underlying cause. If a detached retina caused the peripheral vision loss, then reattaching the retina can bring back the lost peripheral vision. Peripheral vision loss due to glaucoma or retinitis pigmentosa cannot be regained. It’s important to get regular comprehensive eye exams to detect any issues, even if you feel your vision is fine, as early diagnosis of eye disease is the best way to prevent damage to your eyes and vision.