Peripheral vision problems, also known as tunnel vision, often occur as a side effect of a serious problem with the eyes or even with the brain, retina or optic nerve. Loss of peripheral vision can occur suddenly or develop over a period of time. Regardless of what causes this type of vision loss, it creates a definite disability, making it difficult if not impossible to drive or even to walk safely.
What Causes Peripheral Vision Problems?
Perhaps the most common cause of peripheral vision loss is glaucoma. This eye disorder occurs when pressure on the inside of the eyeball becomes too high. Under normal conditions, the liquid inside the eyeball drains out regularly, to be replaced by fresh liquid. When liquid fails to drain properly, or when the body produces too much, pressure inside the eyeball builds, causing permanent damage. One of the late signs of the progression of glaucoma is peripheral vision loss.
Other conditions that can result in loss of peripheral vision include:
- Retinal detachment
- “Eye strokes,” in which blood flow to the eye is compromised
Sudden loss or reduction of peripheral vision should be brought to a doctor’s attention immediately, since it could be a sign that the retina has detached. Without corrective surgery, this condition could lead to permanent blindness.
Treatment for Peripheral Vision Loss
NYC eye doctor, James R. Kelly, M.D. at the Kelly Laser Center provides diagnosis and treatment for peripheral vision loss. The specific treatment depends upon the cause of the vision loss. For glaucoma, drugs are often prescribed to reduce the pressure inside the eye. In cases where glaucoma has progressed, laser surgery is often needed to release the liquid from the eyeball or to restructure specific parts of the eyeball so that not as much liquid is produced. Peripheral vision loss due to glaucoma is, unfortunately, permanent. The progression of the vision loss can be slowed, but any vision that has been lost cannot be regained.
Treatment for a detached retina can restore lost vision and prevent permanent vision loss. This should be considered emergency surgery, and any delays could reduce the chances of fully regaining your vision.
New York City eye surgeon James Kelly, MD, can evaluate your peripheral vision loss, determine its cause and recommend treatment. If you have concerns about peripheral vision loss or have experienced any loss of vision or reduction in vision quality, please contact Dr. Kelly at the Kelly Laser Center as soon as possible.