As you’re reading this right now, can you see objects to your left or right? Or is your vision constricted into a circular tunnel? If unable to see objects to the left or right, you may have tunnel vision, also known as peripheral vision loss. Those with tunnel vision cannot see peripherally. They have to turn their heads to look at them head-on. If you are wondering what tunnel vision is, we have created a list of its causes, treatment options, and conditions.
Keep reading to learn the causes of tunnel vision and the treatment options available to you.
What is Tunnel Vision? Top Causes & Treatment Options
Although the following conditions could lead to tunnel vision, the best way to determine the exact cause is to consult with your eye doctor.
Cataracts form as part of our aging process and simply put is the clouding of the natural lens in the eye. A nuclear cataract can damage the edges of the lens, leading to tunnel vision. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, double vision, light sensitivity, a yellowish tint to objects, and difficulty seeing at night.
Glaucoma is the buildup of pressure and fluid in the eye's drainage canal. With this pressure, the optic nerve can be damaged. A damaged optic nerve can create blind spots and lead to tunnel vision. In addition to tunnel vision, other symptoms include blurred vision, light halos, eye pain, and nausea.
3. Retinal Detachment
The retina sends images through the optic nerve to the brain where they are interpreted. If the retina tears or detaches from the back of the eye, it can lead to blurred vision, tunnel vision, or blindness. Floaters in vision can restrict peripheral vision, which you can experience as tunnel vision.
This rare genetic disorder mainly affects men and leads to vision loss over time. The symptoms start with difficulty seeing at night, followed by blind spots that affect peripheral vision, experienced as tunnel vision. Over time, the field of vision continues to shrink and can result in blindness.
5. Brain Injuries
Both concussions and strokes can be causes of tunnel vision. During a brain injury like a stroke or concussion, blood flow to the brain is disrupted. The brain does not have enough oxygen, and dizziness and peripheral vision loss can occur.
6. Hallucinogenic Drugs
Drugs that contain hallucinogens such as LSD, ecstasy, magic mushrooms, and more can alter perception. While this does wear off, the effects can lead to temporary or permanent peripheral vision loss.
Treating Tunnel Vision
Losing peripheral vision can affect your quality of life. It makes everyday tasks incredibly difficult. Luckily, depending on the cause of your tunnel vision, there are treatment options available.
Treatment Options for Cataracts
If your eye doctor has determined cataract is the cause of your tunnel vision, surgery could be your best option. During cataract surgeries, your natural lens, which has become cloudy, is replaced with an intraocular lens.
- Traditional Cataract Surgery is performed by an expert ophthalmologist. This technique is safe, efficient, and does not require stitches.
- Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery is performed using a highly-accurate laser to create a precise incision. This can also reduce the effects of astigmatism.
- Bladeless Laser Refractive Cataract Surgery has revolutionized cataract surgery through the use of femtosecond lasers. Each individual’s eye characteristics are taken into account, allowing for even more precise results.
Following a glaucoma diagnosis, your eye doctor may prescribe eye drops to reduce the pressure. Depending on the severity of glaucoma, laser or traditional eye surgery may be required to drain the fluid build-up.
Reattaching the Retinal Tear
The majority of patients with retinal detachment need surgery to reattach the retina to the wall of the eye. The goal of retinal detachment surgery is to hold the wall of the eye and the retina together until scarring can heal the tear.
- Pneumatic Retinopexy does this by injecting a gas bubble into the space between the wall of the eye and the retina.
- Vitrectomy removes the vitreous gel and replaces it with a gas bubble.
- Scleral Buckling inserts a flexible band called a scleral buckle around the eye to hold the retina in place.
Vision Care From the Eye Specialists
Having tunnel vision is frustrating and difficult. Not to mention, it can upend your daily life. Our team of eye doctors and ophthalmologists offer eye care solutions to help you preserve and improve your vision. Our doctors provide innovative eye care treatments such as LASIK eye surgery, retinal detachment treatments, cataract surgery, astigmatism treatments, and refractive lens exchange surgery. The eye doctors and ophthalmologists at Specialty Eye Institute are here to diagnose the cause of your tunnel vision. In addition, we will create a treatment plan that meets your requirements. Your vision health is our top priority. Schedule your exam with an eye expert. Request an appointment online or by calling (877) 852-8463.