Where Does Peripheral Vision Come From? (Tunnel Vision)

Where Does Peripheral Vision Come From? (Tunnel Vision)

Peripheral vision comes from the side areas of our visual field, outside the central focus of our eyes. It is enabled by specialized cells called rods and cones in the outer regions of the retina. While cones are responsible for central and color vision, rods are more sensitive to light and help us see in low-light conditions. The distribution and arrangement of these cells in the retina allow us to detect and perceive objects in our periphery, providing us with a wider field of vision.

What Causes  Peripheral Vision Loss? 

Peripheral vision is important for seeing the outside world and carrying out daily tasks, which is why your eye doctor tests it. Unfortunately, tunnel vision, or loss of peripheral vision, can result from several eye diseases and conditions. 

Peripheral vision loss can be caused by some different factors, including:

It’s important to get in touch with your eye doctor right away if you experience an abrupt loss of peripheral vision to determine the underlying cause and start the proper treatment as soon as possible.

Regular comprehensive eye exams can assist in identifying eye conditions before symptoms appear.

What Does Tunnel Vision Look Like?

Anything that reduces your field of vision by obstructing your peripheral vision is referred to as tunnel vision. Your field of vision may decrease if there is an issue with your eyes or other parts of your body that assist with vision. One eye may experience tunnel vision at a time, or both eyes may be affected at the same time. Also possible are vertigo or unsteadiness when walking or standing.

You may not experience any changes to your central vision, but you will not be able to see objects that are not directly in front of your eyes. Imagine peering through the cardboard tube in the middle of a paper towel roll. Though everything to the sides will be hidden, you can still see what’s on the other side of the tube.

How to Test Peripheral Vision

Your eye doctor will conduct tests to measure the size of your visual field and/or visual clarity within your field of view if you have any problems with your peripheral vision. Among these tests are:

Confrontation Visual Field Test

You cover one eye and look at your eye doctor or eye care technician during this easy test. They will hold up fingers to test your side vision, and you will be asked to count how many fingers you can see. After that, they’ll ask you to do this with your other eye. They gain a fundamental understanding of what is visible on the side when facing a stationary object directly ahead of them from the exam. The examination is simple to perform and requires no special tools, but its diagnostic accuracy for small visual field defects may be limited.

Automated Static Perimetry Test

To pass this test, you must cover one eye while gazing into a perimeter (a device used to measure visual field) and press a button whenever you see lights appear. There will be different locations for the lights in both your peripheral and central vision. Your eye doctor will suspect that you may have a peripheral vision problem if you fail to report any instances in which light appears to the side of your field of vision. Static perimetry tests are frequently employed to track macula diseases and glaucoma.

Kinetic Visual Field Test

The kinetic test maps the boundary of your visual field by moving light in and out of your peripheral vision using the same methodology as the perimetry test. Peripheral retinal diseases and neuro-ophthalmological conditions are better suited for kinetic visual field testing.

How Is Tunnel Vision Treated?

A medical professional or specialist in eye care will address the cause of tunnel vision. The type of treatment you require will depend on the extent of your peripheral vision loss and its cause.

You may require medication. Some require surgery to fix internal injuries that result in loss of peripheral vision. If you require eye surgery, your ophthalmologist will discuss your expectations with you.

How Do Blood Thinners Help with Erectile Dysfunction?

Your healthcare practitioner may advise using a blood thinner to lower your chance of blood…

Read More

Share On:

Leave a Comment


Stay in the know - subscribe to our newsletter for top health tips, wellness news, and lifestyle ideas.
Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.


-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being