Certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma, can cause peripheral visual field loss. In these cases, the patient may have adequate central vision but reduced awareness or an inability to perceive signals coming from a specific area of their side vision.
This can be in one or both eyes and can affect one half of the visual field, or perhaps a specific corner. It can also develop gradually, as with glaucoma, or suddenly, following a stroke.
The change in perception can cause difficulty in an individual’s daily living and interrupt their ability to complete simple tasks. This article will discuss some of the devices, practices, and training suggested to these patients to compensate for the loss of their peripheral vision.
It is important to clarify that the point of field enhancement is not to regain the vision that was lost, but rather to learn skills and receive devices that can help cope with the visual changes that have occurred.
Finger Guides can Assist Your Peripheral Vision
This can ameliorate the difficulty reading in individuals who have lost vision to one side or corner of their vision. Due to them missing a chunk of their vision, they may not be able to read an entire horizontal line without the words disappearing into the lost visual field.
For this reason, they can use their finger or a marker to denote where the line is supposed to start or end and turn their head to be able to read to the end of the line. Using a finger to track the sentence onto the next line is also helpful. Requesting or adjusting text to have increased spacing between the lines will also be helpful.
Scrolling Text to Aid Your Vision
As with above, those with reduced visual fields may have difficulty adjusting to turning their head to complete reading a line of text. In some cases, mobility may also be an issue and constant head turning is not an option.
Scrolling text refers to a device that is able to scroll through the text using a camera and computer screen. These devices also have the ability to magnify the print as well.
Vision Training and Reduced Peripheral Vision
Learning to see a full visual field will require turning the head as previously stated, sometimes during the day while walking around. This may not be an innate movement and may therefore need training to make the motion more instinctive.
In some cases, vision therapy is able to address these concerns by providing activities that encourage moving the eyes from side to side or up and down to scan for visual stimuli. When applied to the real world, these skills will come more naturally to the patient and allow them to make up for the vision that was lost.
A prism is prescribed in glasses to shift an image from one location to another in your field of view. In this case, prism may be prescribed by our optometrist to compensate for the visual field that is no longer visible. It is meant to provide some additional information about your surroundings and help prevent sudden awareness of stimuli in the periphery.
Minifiers can Aid Vision in Field of View
When the peripheral field is missing, it can be hard to discern what the setup of the surroundings is. This information can be provided using a minifier, which minifies the image in the distance and provides a smaller but wider field of view. This is most appropriate for a quick glance to determine what the bigger picture would be.
Orientation and Mobility Training
When a patient suffers from visual field loss, they may experience difficulty navigating the world. They may bump into things or lose their balance easily as they are unaware of their surroundings and the obstacles in their peripheral vision.
In these cases, patients can request or seek out orientation and mobility training, which provides patients with tips and skills that can assist with navigating independently or with a guide.
Our eye doctors at EyeDocs Family Eye Care in Brookville, OH excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye disease. Call our optometrists at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to be evaluated or discuss loss of peripheral vision options. Our eye doctors, Dr. Kyle Maxam and Dr. Cara Wampler, provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Brookville, Ohio.
You can schedule your next appointment with us online!
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430 Arlington Rd. Suite B | Brookville, OH 45309 | 937-770-1265