You take the time to worry about your heart and your lungs, so why wouldn't you think about your eye health? If you are like most people, it might be because you don't know that much about how to take care of your eyes. Fortunately, I have been working with other people to teach them about eye health for the past twenty years. My father lost his eyesight because of a few bad decisions, and I don't want to see other people go down that path. Read here to learn why you should exercise, eat right, and see your eye doctor regularly.
You peripheral vision is important for your ability to see well. It's easy to forget about it since you focus on what you see in front of you. However, when peripheral vision is lost, you may have trouble seeing in dim light and you may not see objects to your side, which could increase your risk of injury. Here's why you might lose your peripheral vision and how an eye doctor might help.
Signs You Might Be Losing Your Peripheral Vision
It's possible you won't notice the gradual loss of your peripheral vision in the early stages. When it becomes advanced, you develop tunnel vision, where you only have the ability to see straight ahead. Peripheral vision loss can also happen suddenly due to an injury, and you'll notice you can't see objects off to the side like you usually can. People might startle you by suddenly appearing in your field of vision because you don't see them approach from the side.
When you develop loss of peripheral vision slowly due to an eye condition such as glaucoma, you might have symptoms of low vision where you can't see well in dim light. A sudden loss of peripheral vision is an emergency that should be treated right away. However, a gradual loss is also cause for concern since the vision loss sneaks up on you as you become accustomed to the changes. This is one reason regular eye exams are so important because an eye doctor can detect problems with your peripheral vision before symptoms are obvious.
Eye Exams to Test for Peripheral Vision Loss
Your eye doctor can test your peripheral vision during an eye exam. If you have an eye condition that can cause vision loss or if peripheral vision problems are suspected, your vision can even be mapped out so the doctor can track the progression of your condition. There are a few ways to test your peripheral vision. The eye doctor might sit near you and move his or her extended arms to the sides of your body. You will look straight ahead and reply when his or her hands disappear and reappear in your field of vision.
A more sophisticated test involves looking at a monitor or screen. You stare at a dot and push a button when you see a bright dot appear along the sides of the screen. This test gives measurable results your doctor can compare on each visit to tell if your vision loss is progressing or improving.
Treatments for Peripheral Vision Loss
The treatment your eye doctor recommends will depend on the cause of your vision loss. It could be a matter of treating the underlying eye disease, and if the eye condition improves, your peripheral vision might improve along with it. Other times, prism glasses might help. Even if your vision loss can't be reversed, treatment might slow down the progression of the loss, so seeing your eye doctor regularly and caring for the health of your eyes is important.