Whether you have experienced a sudden loss of peripheral vision or you have had peripheral vision loss over a long space of time, it can be a great advantage in maintaining and improving your eyesight to understand what causes loss of peripheral vision and what symptoms go along with it.
What is peripheral vision?
In the center of each eye we have a high concentration of cone cells, 6 million to be precise (give of take a few). This concentration of cone cells is called our central vision. These light sensitive cells are responsible for seeing detail and colour. Outside of this central vision is our peripheral vision which consists of 120 million Rod cells. These cells are responsible for detecting movement and low level light.
Causes of Peripheral Vision Loss
You can see that we have many more cells dedicated to our periphery than to our central vision. This is why sometimes peripheral vision loss (tunnel vision) can go unnoticed if this loss happens over a longer period of time. An example of this is peripheral vision loss caused by Glaucoma. Since there is not necessarily any pain with glaucoma, we often do not notice we have lost particular areas of our visual filed until the later stages when more rod cells have been affected and we experience tunnel vision or blind spots.
Other causes of peripheral vision loss can be retinal detachment, strokes, rod dystrophy, head or eye injuries. In fact, anything that can lessen blood flow to the Optic Nerve can lead to vision loss because it is the blood that nourishes the optic nerve and the optic nerve is responsible for sending the visual signal to the brain.
The loss of peripheral vision can be in only one eye. It does not necessarily happen in both eyes. This could be another reason why someone may not notice peripheral vision loss, because the brain can use the better image from the eye that is not damaged to make up for a loss in visual field of the other.
Symptoms of Peripheral Vision Loss
Other than tunnel vision, a symptom of peripheral vision loss can be difficulty seeing in the dark or night blindness. This is true in the eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. Another symptom might be pockets of missing peripheral vision which can be experienced as static or white noise.
If you have experienced any of the symptoms mentioned on this page or feel that you may be experiencing peripheral vision loss make sure you see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
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