The likelihood of vision loss increases significantly as we age. In fact, we all have a 1 in 4 chance of developing vision loss when we get past the age of 65.
To better understand the loss of vision, there are some basic information we need to know first. It is crucial to note that any two individuals, even with identical visual conditions, may be impaired differently and that each individual’s vision may change from day to day.
Peripheral vision loss is a matter of medical emergency and should be checked by an ophthalmologist immediately. It also helps to know that peripheral vision loss is not always caused by eye problems. It can be due to a number of factors. Below are 6 of the most common reasons why peripheral vision loss can occur.
Cataracts occur when the lens (that part of the eye behind the pupil) becomes opaque. The clouding commonly affects the central vision first before eventually extending outward. Signs of a developing cataract include intolerance of bright sunlight, blurry vision and double images. Although cataracts are mostly associated with aging, there are also cases where cataracts were caused by a disease, injury to the eye and in some cases already existing at birth. Cataracts are usually treated with a simple surgery procedure where the eye’s natural lens are replaced with a lens implant.
5) Diabetic Retinopathy
A complication of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy occurs when the weakened blood vessels of the retina ( the tissue that lines the back of the eye) rupture and bleed into the eye. This results into a blurred vision and reddening of the eye. When the minuscule ruptures start to heal, the formed scars can damage the retina. According to the National Eye Institute, vision loss from diabetes can be prevented with early detection and regular eye exams.
The eye keeps itself lubricated by consistently producing a fluid called aqueous humor. However, when there is too much fluid produced, or if the eye’s drainage system fails, pressure buildup in the eye occurs which eventually damages the eye’s optic nerve. Oftentimes, glaucoma can go undetected as the pressure buildup is usually painless, which is why a regular dilated eye exam is really important.
3) Macular Degeneration
The leading cause of blindness in people ever the age of 55, macular degeneration occurs when the eye’s macula, the tiny area at the center of the retina and the one responsible for producing detailed central vision, deteriorates. This causes a dark and blurred area in the center of a person’s visual field.
There are mainly two types of macular degeneration. The more common type is the dry form, which tends to progress more slowly than the wet form. The other type is the wet form which is characterized by bleeding under the retina.
2) Retinitis Pigmentosa
Usually diagnosed at a young age, retinitis pigmentosa is a rare, inherited, progressive eye disease which is characterized by deterioration and loss of cells in the retina. This eye disease usually begins with night blindness before being followed by gradual loss of vision and ends in tunnel vision. Although there is much research going on around the world in an effort to find a cure for retinitis pigmentosa, this disease is currently incurable.
Hemianopsia is vision loss on one side of the eye due to brain tumor or stroke. If the left half of vision is gone, this means there is damage in the right side of the brain. If it is the right half vision that is affected, the left side of the brain is the one damaged. Unfortunately, loss of vision due from brain tumor or stroke is usually permanent.