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What Could Cause a Loss of Peripheral Vision?

An eye exam can determine if loss of peripheral vision is related to retinal degeneration or glaucoma.
Onset of a migraine can lead to loss of peripheral vision.
A temporary loss or peripheral vision might be caused by drug use.
A person's loss of peripheral vision may not be permanent.
Tunnel vision results in a loss of peripheral vision.
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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2014
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There are a variety of conditions that can lead to a loss of peripheral vision. Regardless of the final diagnosis, any time that you experience a rapid change in your vision, it should be treated as a medical emergency. If you cannot get an immediate appointment with an ophthalmologist, then head to the closest emergency room.

One thing that is important to recognize about peripheral vision loss is that the problem may not be related to problems with your vision. One symptom of a stroke is a sudden loss of peripheral vision. If you suffer from a stroke, prompt medical attention can make a huge difference in your long term health.

Often, peripheral vision loss may only be a problem with your eyes. Retinal detachment causes a feeling that you have a curtain hanging by one side of the face, eliminating all vision on one side. Other problems that develop in the retina can also lead to tunnel vision, or the loss of peripheral vision. Retinal degeneration, pigmentosa and retinopathy are all conditions that can lead to problems with peripheral vision.

One common reason that many older people may lose their peripheral vision is due to glaucoma. Glaucoma sufferers typically lose their vision gradually, until they are left with total tunnel vision. Some patients that develop glaucoma also experience eye pain and redness as well as nausea and vomiting.

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Many people fear the worst when they lose part of their sight. It is important to realize that very few people suffer from the most frightening cause of loss of peripheral vision, which is a brain tumor. Other symptoms, which, when combined with peripheral vision loss, may indicate a brain tumor are: the sudden development of headaches, nausea and vomiting, balance problems and speech difficulties. Other people may notice changes in your personality. Seizures are also a common symptom of brain tumors.

The loss of peripheral vision is not necessarily permanent. Some people lose their peripheral vision with the onset of a migraine. Other migraine symptoms are a headache severe enough to prevent you from participating in normal activities, pulsating head pain, sensitivity to light or sound and nausea.

There are many reasons why someone may lose their peripheral vision. Some of these conditions are permanent and others are temporary. Some are medical emergencies, while others are not so severe. It is important to treat any sudden change in your vision as a medical emergency and immediately go to an ophthalmologist or the emergency room.

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Discuss this Article

anon958295
Post 4

@Babalaas: "Computer vision syndrome (CVS) can lead to loss of peripheral vision." Show one such case, or one person who lost peripheral vision due to CVS. Please don't share quackery.

"from both temporary and permanent vision problems." There is no evidence that CVS causes permanent damage.

Babalaas
Post 2

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) can lead to loss of peripheral vision and temporary blurred vision. CVS is the result of working in front of the computer too long and not looking away. Your computer screen stresses your eyes, and you suffer from both temporary and permanent vision problems. Luckily, there are many different things that you can do to prevent the most severe symptoms.

One of the most important things is to set up a workspace that allows you to have good posture, adequate lighting, and enough space to set up a copy stand so you do not have to look back and forth at your work as much. Combine this with yearly eye doctor exams and regular eyestrain exercises, and you will maintain your eyesight throughout your career.

dill1971
Post 1

My 19 year old son has RP (retinitis pigmentosa). It runs on his father’s side of the family. While the biggest problem in people with RP is night blindness, loss of peripheral vision is also a huge part of it.

He has suffered from loss of his peripheral vision (also known as tunnel vision) for several years. Unfortunately, it is degenerative and will only get worse. He describes it to me as looking through two paper towel holders.

RP is a hereditary condition and as of now, there is no cure.

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