What Are Side Vision Glasses?

Published January 11, 2021

Side-vision awareness glasses are an effective low vision device that increases the viewing field for people suffering from side vision loss. 

Side vision awareness glasses (SVAG) are an advanced optical technology used to widen the field of vision for patients with hemianopsia (hemianopia), or eye conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, that cause side vision loss.

These SVAG increase safety for daily activities, and in some cases,  even enable the ability to drive with side vision loss. 

What is hemianopsia?

Hemianopsia is characterized by the loss of vision in half of the visual field, and is one of the most common side effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, and brain tumor.

Imagine drawing a line down the middle of your visual field, and then only being able to see the image on one side of that line. 

Hemianopsia can occur as a result of damage to the optic nerves, optic chiasm or visual processing regions of the brain. When any part of this system becomes damaged, partial or complete vision loss of up to half the visual field can result.

 Signs of hemianopsia 

  • Frequently bumping into objects, door frames, furniture and people
  • Driving difficulty, especially when changing lanes
  • Reading difficulty marked by impaired ability to finish reading words or text on a line
  • Trouble finding or reaching for objects on countertops, or in cabinets

How can SVAG help?

Side vision awareness glasses are a type of low vision device that widen the field of vision for people suffering from side vision loss. 

Many people with side vision loss struggle to perform daily activities and experience anxiety about their safety. Having a wider field of vision can improve safety and increase independence for daily functioning.

Side vision awareness glasses contain flat lenses that appear similar to regular lenses, less color aberrations, and increased contrast sensitivity— offering an aesthetically pleasing appearance while helping to increase visual acuity. Side vision awareness glasses also provide a wider visual field with only one image and are therefore easy to adapt to.

If you have been diagnosed with hemianopsia, or an eye condition that has caused peripheral vision loss, speak to your eye doctor about SVAG. 

These glasses can improve your vision, diminish your safety concerns and  increase your confidence and independence for a greater quality of life.