Types of Vision Loss

Photo of a family with a black spot in the middle to simulate central vision loss

Central Vision Loss

  • Central vision is the work of the macula, a small area in the centre of the eye that contains light sensitive cells which are used to determine fine detail and colour.
  • Central vision enables a person to read, write, drive, recognise faces and carry out fine-detailed work.
  • Loss of central vision is a loss of detail or blurred spots in your central field of vision, these spots may progress into dark or blank spots over time.
Image of a bandstand in a park with edges blacked out to simulate Peripheral vision loss

Peripheral Vision Loss

  • Peripheral vision involves using your side, upper and lower fields of vision.
  • Peripheral vision loss typically affects mobility, or getting around, such as navigating in crowds, crossing the road and approaching steps.
  • Experiencing peripheral vision loss can leave a person with ‘tunnel vision’, meaning their central vision is clearer and brighter as compared to vision at the side.
  • This type of vision loss can be accompanied by loss of night vision, sensitivity to glare, and difficulty adapting to fluctuations in light.
Image of a young girl with black spots over the image to simulate patchy or blurred vision

Patchy or Blurred Vision

  • General loss of clarity or varying degrees of blind spots. Both central and peripheral vision may be affected.
  • Common causes of patchy or blurred vision include Diabetic Retinopathy and Cataracts.
Man reading CAT scans of the brain

Neurological Vision Loss

  • The area of the brain responsible for vision is the Occipital Lobe, located at the back of the head.
  • Vision can be affected if there is an issue interpreting visual information or if the occipital lobe is injured or damaged.
  • If a person acquires a brain injury, for example through physical trauma or a stroke or through neurological conditions such as MS or Parkinson’s, their vision may be affected in the following ways:
    double vision, peripheral vision loss, focusing/fixation problems, involuntary eye movements, visual neglect (where the person does not attend to one part of their visual field).
Portrait female patient sitting in optometrist office, waiting for start of procedure to check her vision with microbioscope,

Other types of vision loss include:

  • Reduced contrast sensitivity
  • Reduced ability to see colour
  • Inability to adjust to changing lighting levels
  • Interference from glare
  • Total vision loss

More information on different eye conditions