This term is commonly used to describe the resulting vision when someone’s central vision is affected. The person’s clearer vision will be outside the direct gaze (so at the sides, top and bottom) with the central point of their vision missing, blurred or obscure (not necessarily black as shown in the photo).
Peripheral vision, or loss of central vision, usually occurs when the macular is damaged or weak. The macular is part of the retina at the back of the eye, responsible for all of our central vision, most of our colour vision and the fine detail of what we see.
The most common eye sight condition associated with peripheral vision is Age Related Macular Degeneration but there are many different conditions that may cause this type of vision loss or have this effect on a person’s vision including strokes, tumours, Stargardt’s Disease and many other conditions affecting the macular.
Depending on the severity, this lack or loss of central vision will have an impact on the person being able to undertake close detail work, reading and writing. However, for some people with early stages of a deteriorating condition, hardly any changes will be noticed (this is again why we urge people to have regular eye checks as these are often where such conditions are first noticed).
Further information about different conditions affecting the Macular can be found on the Macular Society website - https://www.macularsociety.org/about-macular-conditions. The Macular Society also runs support groups, a helpline and other information as well as funding research into macular disease.
Stargardts UK also has a website with information and support for people affected by this condition - https://stargardts.org.uk/
For further information about sight conditions and their effects/impacts, a good resource that we often mention on our training is the RNIB’s #HowISee campaign. This includes short video clips highlighting the different impacts people’s different vision impairments have on them. RNIB (www.rnib.org.uk) also have a range of booklets about different sight conditions.
The NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) also has lots of information about sight conditions as well as symptoms people may experience.
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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