Peripheral Vision Loss

woman in eye exam

Normal sight includes central vision (the field of view straight ahead) and peripheral vision (the field of view outside the circle of central vision). The inability to see within a normal range of view often indicates peripheral vision loss. In severe cases of peripheral vision loss, individuals only see with their central vision, which causes the sensation of looking through a narrow tunnel. For this reason, peripheral vision loss is sometimes referred to as tunnel vision.

Peripheral Vision Loss Signs and Symptoms

The primary symptom of peripheral vision loss is tunnel vision. When this symptom occurs, you are only able to see a small circle straight ahead. You may also have difficulty seeing in low light and have trouble walking.

Peripheral vision loss does not always occur rapidly. As a result, many sufferers do not immediately realize they are experiencing a loss of peripheral vision, and do not receive diagnosis until examined by an eye care professional.

Peripheral Vision Loss Causes

Several conditions cause peripheral vision loss. Some conditions are serious and require immediate treatment, while others will simply clear up on their own. Any loss of vision or change in sight, however, should prompt an immediate examination by an eye care professional to rule out or begin treatment for any serious medical conditions.

Conditions which cause peripheral vision and require medical treatment include glaucoma, damage to the retina, detached retina, retinitis pigmentosa, brain damage due to stroke or loss of blood, occlusions (eye strokes), optic nerve damage, optic neuritis, compressed optic nerve head, and concussions or other head injuries.

In addition to these conditions which can lead to permanent vision loss, some factors cause temporary tunnel vision and may not require medical treatment. These include alcohol and drug use, high levels of adrenalin, extreme stress, panic, and anger. Peripheral vision loss due to these factors will clear up on its own with no treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Eye care professionals diagnose peripheral vision loss by using a field of vision exam to test your range of vision. If peripheral vision loss is detected, the eye care professional will determine the specific cause by performing further medical testing, observation, and by looking at your medical records. Once an underlying cause is determined, an eye care professional will recommend the treatment options. Depending on the cause, this might include surgery, medication, or vision therapy.

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Testimonial

  • "Before our daughter began vision therapy she was struggling with reading and sports. We thought she was just clumsy (walking into walls and falling a lot). My wife and I know something was't quite right; so we had our daughter tested for Central Auditory Processing Disorder, took her to an optometrist and to an eye specialist at a hospital. My wife's mother urged us to see Dr. Gordon. A significant visual tracking problem was found.
    After vision therapy our daughter went from needing extra help with reading to reading above grade level. She is now excelling in softball and has been named to the All-Star Team this year. She has become more confident and willing to try new things."
    "We can't thank Dr. Gordon's office enough for our daughter's success."
    Drew D.
  • "Before vision therapy reading was terrible. Nothing made sense on the paper. Vision therapy helped me with spelling and reading. I'm not skipping lines when reading and I love how I was taught to spell. I bring home 100's in spelling and reading is coming along too!
    I'm also on the Honor Roll at school too!"
    Elizabeth S.
  • "Our son was in 2nd grade when we found out that he had vision problems. He was referred to the occupational therapist in school for his handwriting. After her testing she called to tell us that all of signs were related to vision problems. Our son complained of headaches, motion sickness and very bad handwriting.
    Most of his teachers were telling us they thought he had ADD or ADHD.
    His attention span in school was short and he rushed through his work. He absolutely hated anything that had to do with writing.
    After starting vision therapy we saw improvements very quickly; as well as his teachers. His handwriting has improved tremendously and his posture is much better.
    We are so thankful for the occupational therapist discovering his vision challenge. We drove an hour and a half each way to Dr. Gordon's office for our weekly vision therapy sessions.
    The success of our son was well worth the drive."
    Amber W.
  • "What a difference! It has been an emotional roller coaster dealing with certain aspects of our son's left. But it was refreshing to know that we could count on the staff administering vision therapy to have his best interest in mind. To watch our son overcome the obstacles he had prior to vision therapy is worth everything. We absolutely recommend vision therapy because we have seen what it can do for our child. We are grateful for vision therapy and couldn't imagine his life without it!"
    Jerome K.
  • "I saw words differently and struggled throughout my childhood with my sight. After years of testing and appointments I found Dr. Gordon who diagnosed a Convergence Insufficiency. After a few months of vision therapy I was amazed at the my improvement.
    My life is truly changed!"
    Ella S.
  • "My son has always struggled in school. As an educator I looked for answers based on what I knew; learning disabilities, ADHD, etc. By the time he was in 4th grade I had to find some way to help my son. I realized that many of his symptoms were similar to many of my students who had Central Auditory Processing difficulties. Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center confirmed the diagnosis and recommended a visual processing evaluation. No one ever considered his reading challenges to be related to a visual processing problem. Since starting vision therapy his struggles in school have decreased, his math grades have improved as well as his reading; and he is more confident in his ability to succeed."
    Joanne L.
  • "Dr. Gordon is a developmental optometrist, which means...he is trained to deal with eye dysfunctions beyond simple near-sightedness/far-sightedness and...he can help improve vision through behavior programs. Dr. Gordon patiently worked with me to get the best possible prescription...He's a compassionate and very competent eyecare professional, and I strongly recommend him."
    Michael L.