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.
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.