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Peripheral vision loss is a problem characterized by inability of one to see things to the side or up and down from the central vision. Peripheral vision loss may affect one or both eyes. This loss of vision, particularly if it leaves only central parts of the visual field intact, is frequently termed as tunnel vision.

Causes of Peripheral Vision Loss

Peripheral vision loss may be associated with different eye conditions. However, in the majority of cases such issue is reported in people suffering from glaucoma. Glaucoma is a serious eye condition connected with an increase in intraocular pressure. The increase of pressure inside the eye leads to damage to the optic nerve. Once certain portions of the optic nerve are irreversibly damaged, a person ends up with peripheral vision loss.

Another condition frequently associated with peripheral vision loss is retinitis pigmentosa. This is a hereditary degeneration affecting the retina. Furthermore, retinal detachment may be a cause of peripheral vision loss. The same problem occurs in people suffering from migraines, but in this case the loss of peripheral vision is temporary and occurs only during migraine attack. Finally, even more complex and severe conditions such as stroke and brain tumors may be blamed for this eye problem.

If one has problems with vision filed, he/she is due to consult a health care provider as soon as possible. Under certain circumstance peripheral loss of vision may be a medical emergency, especially if it is associated with additional symptoms and signs such as loss of consciousness, severe headache, garbled/slurred speech, sudden weakness/numbness on one side of the body and eye pain.

Peripheral Vision Loss and Additional Problems

Peripheral vision loss may occur alone or together with other symptoms and signs depending on the underlying condition one is suffering from.

For instance, there may be halos around lights, photophobia, poor nighttime vision, blood shot eyes, floating objects/flashing lights in one's vision and swelling of one or both eyes.

As far as other symptoms not associated to eyes are concerned, peripheral loss of vision may accompany headaches and occur together with nausea and vomiting.

Certain symptoms point to the presence of life-threatening conditions. If any of the following occur together with peripheral vision loss, one requires immediate medical attention:

change of alertness or loss of consciousnesschanges in mental statusbehavioral changes (e.g. confusion, delirium, hallucinations etc.)slurred/garbled speechinability to speakintensive headachesudden change in vision/loss of vision accompanied by eye painsudden weakness/numbness on one side of the body

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