Visual Field Loss

Visual Field Loss

Visual field loss is where a person is unable to see or detect images outside their central vision. The loss in visual field can be in the upper or lower fields or in the side fields. It can also mean loss of the central field of vision.

Very often patients may not notice a loss in their field of vision until they present for an eye examination.

What can it mean if you experience sudden or rapid visual loss?

  • It could mean you have an acute retinal detachment- where the outer layer at the back of the
  • eye, detaches from the main structure.
  • It could be a blockage of one of the arteries or veins at the back of the eye
  • It could be acute optic neuropathy
  • It could be acute retinal disease or something less serious but will warrant investigation by your
  • optometrist. (Such as ARMD, vitreous haemorrhage or diabetic eye disease.)

What will a person with visual field loss experience?

If it is a threatened retinal detachment they will experience flashing lights, floating spots, field loss and possibly reduced vision. If it is an obstruction of one of the main vessels, they will experience sudden blurring of vision in one eye, visual field loss.

If it is optic neuropathy, this is often linked to multiple sclerosis which results in progressive loss of vision, dim vision or decreased colour vision, aches or pains behind the eyes. If the field loss is subtle, it could mean that they have glaucoma. However, field loss could also mean that there is a tumour developing somewhere along the optic nerve or close to it.  It is not something to ignore.