What is Peripheral Vision Loss?

Published on
February 3, 2022

A person's vision is divided into two parts, peripheral vision and central vision. Central vision would be the macula area of the retina. An individual with macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy would have an impact on their central vision. Peripheral vision is just as important as central vision. Peripheral vision is the side vision of the eye which allows a person to look on both sides while looking straight at an object.


How Peripheral Vision Impacts One's Life

The importance of peripheral vision in daily life cannot be overstated. It impacts many of our daily activities such as driving, walking, and reading. It is not only important to see what's in front of you when driving, but it is also important to see what's on your side too. The risk of a car accident is drastically increased if you are unable to see your left and right lanes. Likewise, someone running or walking both outside and indoors with poor peripheral vision is at risk of falling. A common risk for someone who experiences peripheral vision loss after a stroke is difficulty getting around without tripping or falling.  


What Causes Peripheral Vision Loss?

Peripheral vision loss can be caused by many conditions such as: 

  • Glaucoma
  • Detached retina
  • Concussions
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Strokes
  • Inoperable Cataracts
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Thyroid Eye Disease


What is it like to have peripheral vision loss? 

Having damage to the peripheral retina results in a constriction of the periphery, not allowing patients to see perfectly clearly what is on their side vision. A person with peripheral vision loss would see everything as if they are looking at it through a straw or a keyhole or tunnel hence the name tunnel vision.

Other symptoms may include: 

  • The sensation of having a curtain or “spider-web” off to the side of the central visual field (the region of the deficit).
  • The sensation of “light shimmering” followed by a period of tunnel vision.  


What should you do if you have peripheral vision loss? 

If you or a loved one is experiencing peripheral vision loss, you should schedule a low vision exam with a low vision optometrist. During the exam the low vision optometrist will assess your vision as well as the difficulties that you experience from that vision loss. The eye doctor will then help you understand the best tools, devices, and resources for regaining your independence and safely navigating during your day. 


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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