Glaucoma, Tunnel Vision and Low Vision

Dr. Russel Lazarus, May 3, 2021

Glaucoma causes ‘Tunnel Vision’ and is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. The most common type of glaucoma shows no early warning signs, and can only be detected during a comprehensive eye exam. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause peripheral vision loss and even permanent central vision loss.

If you suffer from glaucoma contact an eye doctor near you who provides low vision devices and aids to help you maximize your remaining vision.

SEE RELATED: Hemianopsia and Low Vision

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How does glaucoma affect your vision?

The primary cause of glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve caused by high intraocular pressure (IOP). 

The area between the cornea and the lens inside the eye is filled with a fluid called the aqueous humor. This fluid maintains the eyeball’s shape by keeping the eye properly pressurized. This fluid drains from the eye via the “trabecular meshwork”. If the drainage angle is blocked or clogged, the fluid cannot drain from the eye, causing a build-up of pressure within the eye.

The build-up of pressure damages the optic nerve, blocking images captured by the eye from reaching the brain. This results in progressive vision loss or peripheral vision loss.

What is tunnel vision?

Tunnel vision is  the loss of side vision, where all you can see is the very center part of your vision.

A person with tunnel vision can only see what is directly in front of them, as if they were  looking through a straw. Glaucoma is a major cause of peripheral vision loss.

Can tunnel vision be prevented?

The best way to prevent  tunnel vision is for your eye doctor to catch glaucoma early, before it causes irreversible vision loss. 

If eye drops or glaucoma medication are prescribed, they should absolutely be taken regularly to control high eye pressure. Otherwise, you risk permanent optic nerve damage and may develop blind spots in your visual field. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent loss of peripheral vision and even blindness.

This is why routine eye exams are so critical, as they are the only way to detect glaucoma before permanent vision loss sets in.

Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor near you to catch glaucoma early.

How can a low vision doctor help?

Experiencing vision can impair a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.  A low vision eye doctor can help by offering a variety of low vision aids and devices to maximize the vision that remains.

These include:

  • Filters
  • Prisms
  • Magnifying spectacles (worn just like traditional eyeglasses)
  • E-Scoop® glasses
  • Hand-held and clip-on telescopes,
  • Desktop, portable and digital magnifiers
  • Computer software
  • Smartphone, tablet and camera apps
  • Text-to-speech OCR software
  • Digital talking book readers
  • IrisVision
  • OrCam
  • Jordy
  • eSight

The sooner a patient begins to use low vision aids, the quicker they will adjust and learn new ways to carry out activities.

Don’t let glaucoma rob you of your independence! 

LEARN MORE:  Guide to Low Vision

Contact an eye doctor near you who can help you achieve functional vision and provide custom-made glasses and vision aids just for you.