8 Causes of Peripheral Vision Loss

October 21st, 2021

At ICON Eyecare Grand Junction, we treat several serious eye conditions, including peripheral vision loss. There are many potential causes for PVL, also referred to as tunnel vision. Here, our trusted eye doctors in Grand Junction have put together several causes to help you learn more about this debilitating vision challenge.

Some causes are underlying medical conditions such as migraines while others cause PVL to come on suddenly due to injury or illness. We hope that by walking through the symptoms, causes and treatment options, you’ll begin to feel a little more comfortable with the condition and seek the treatment you need sooner rather than later.


Peripheral vision loss can develop gradually or suddenly. Common symptoms include the following:

  • bumping into objects
  • falling
  • night blindness
  • difficulty driving at night
  • difficulty navigating crowded spaces

Tunnel vision can occur in one eye or both eyes. If you have questions about these symptoms, our licensed eye doctors in Grand Junction can provide the answers.

Causes of PVL

The more information you can provide about underlying causes, the better your eye doctor can provide the right treatment. Here are some causes of tunnel vision.

1. Detached Retina

A detached retina can cause sudden peripheral vision loss. It’s important to receive treatment for this condition as soon as possible or you could face permanent impairment. Retinal detachment occurs when the retina, or tissue at the back of your eye, pulls away from the surrounding tissue.

2. Glaucoma

When pressure builds up in the eye, you could develop a condition called glaucoma. The symptoms of glaucoma include loss of peripheral vision. If you have angle closure glaucoma, you need immediate attention to avoid irreversible blindness.

3. Pigmentosa

Pigmentosa is an inherited disease that develops gradually. Peripheral vision loss or central vision loss occurs as the retina deteriorates. Unfortunately, there is no cure for it. However, special eyewear is available to help improve vision for some patients.

4. Scotoma

Retinal damage can cause blind spots or scotoma. There are several underlying causes such as inflammation, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

5. Stroke

Along with other damage, a stroke can cause permanent tunnel vision on the impacted side of your body. Your eyes still function but your brain loses the ability to process the images.

6. Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have diabetes, you may develop this condition. During this condition, high blood sugar causes blood vessels in the retina to swell, causing several problems that affect your peripheral vision.

7. Migraine

According to the American Migraine Foundation, up to 30 percent of those suffering migraines experience PVL and other vision loss during the aura stage.

8. Optic Nerve Atrophy (ONA)

Optic nerve atrophy is caused by infection, trauma, insufficient oxygen supply and tumors. ONA can result in tunnel vision and loss of central vision.

Treatment Options

It’s important to book an appointment with one of our eye doctors in Grand Junction as soon as possible if you notice peripheral vision loss. The treatment depends on first identifying the underlying cause of your PVL.

Besides implementing treatment for underlying conditions, prism eyeglass lenses can often improve your peripheral vision. The more you can slow down the progress of the underlying cause, the longer you can enjoy improved peripheral vision.

Book an appointment at Grand Junction ICON Eyecare for all your vision needs. We specialize in cataract and LASIK surgery in Grand Junction and also treat many of the underlying causes of peripheral vision loss.

Request An Appointment.

Give us a phone call at (970) 256-0400 Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm to schedule a consultation.

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