Management of Visual Field Loss
A person’s visual field is the most important single factor affecting visual function. There is an increased number of patients with visual impairment, secondary to visual field loss alone or in conjunction with decreased visual acuity. This is mainly due to the increased survival rate of head trauma and stroke patients. A problem exists only when the field loss involves both eyes. If the field loss is in one eye only, it will be compensated for by the other eye. These patients need a combination of optical intervention along with mobility instruction.
There are two general types of field defects:
- Overall Constriction (see Simulation of Visual Impairment)
- Usually caused by advanced ocular disease such as retinal degeneration’s (retinitis pigmentosa) and optic nerve disease (glaucoma).
- Hemispheric Field Loss (see Simulation of Visual Impairment)
- Usually due to a stroke or head injury.
While a person with a visual field loss may have near normal visual acuity, the visual field loss may make walking in a crowd difficult as people an objects to the side cannot be seen. A visual field loss may also make reading difficult because the beginning or end of a sentence cannot be seen. Special glasses with prisms can be made to help a patient become more aware of their lost visual field, making navigation and reading easier. Our doctors specialize in prescribing field expansion lenses.