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What Is Tunnel Vision: Unveiling the Causes, Symptoms, and 4 Resilient Coping Strategies Made Easy


Your search to the question What is Tunnel vision ends here, read on to know its underlying causes, symptoms and coping strategies. Tunnel vision, also known as peripheral vision loss (PVL), is a visual impairment that affects a person’s ability to see objects or movement in their peripheral field of vision. This condition results in a narrowing of the visual field, so that the person can only see what is directly in front of them.

Tunnel vision can significantly affect a person’s visual perception and daily life, making it essential to understand its causes, symptoms, and coping strategies. This knowledge is important for individuals affected by the condition and those around them, as it empowers them to seek timely intervention and support to lead a fulfilling life.

Section 1: What is tunnel vision?

Tunnel vision is a form of visual loss that limits a person’s field of perception, limiting their ability to see objects or movement outside their central line of sight. Peripheral vision loss (PVL) is another term used to describe this condition. Tunnel vision can be caused by a variety of eye and health conditions, with two primary contributors being retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and glaucoma.

What is tunnel vision

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP):

RP is a genetic disorder that affects the light-sensitive cells of the retina, causing gradual peripheral vision loss and the development of tunnel-like vision. As the condition progresses, individuals experience a gradual narrowing of their visual field.


Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve, most often due to increased intraocular pressure. As glaucoma progresses, it can impair peripheral vision, causing tunnel vision.

In addition to eye conditions, certain health problems, such as neurological disorders and conditions that affect blood flow to the brain, may contribute to transient episodes of tunnel vision.

Section 2: Recognizing the Symptoms of Tunnel Vision

After getting an understanding of What is Tunnel vision next order of business is recognizing the symptoms of tunnel vision is important for early intervention and proper management. Individuals experiencing tunnel vision may exhibit the following symptoms:

Narrowed visual field:

The most obvious symptom of tunnel vision is a restricted visual field, which limits the person’s ability to see objects outside their direct line of sight. They may have a “tunnel-like” view of the world.

Difficulty with peripheral awareness:

Patients may have difficulty detecting movement or objects in their peripheral vision, which can lead to challenges navigating crowded or unfamiliar environments.

Night blindness and sensitivity to glare:

Some individuals with tunnel vision may experience difficulty seeing in low light conditions, which can lead to night blindness. Additionally, they may be more sensitive to glare, making it challenging to work in brightly lit environments.

Colliding with objects:

Due to limited peripheral vision, individuals may often collide with objects or people on their side, affecting mobility and safety.

Impaired depth perception:

Tunnel vision can impair depth perception, making it challenging to accurately assess distances. This can affect activities such as walking, driving and reaching for objects.

Section 3: The Role of Eye Examination in Diagnosing Tunnel Vision

Once you understand What is tunnel vision and notice its symptoms you should immediately get an eye exam done. Eye examination plays a fundamental role in diagnosing tunnel vision and determining its underlying cause. Ophthalmologists and optometrists perform various tests and evaluations to evaluate a patient’s visual function.

Visual acuity test:

This test measures how well a person can see letters or symbols on an eye chart, which provides information about central vision.

Visual field test:

Visual field test evaluates the extent of peripheral vision loss, thereby helping to identify tunnel vision. This test involves the person responding to the presence of light stimuli at various locations within their visual field.


Through ophthalmoscopy, the doctor can examine the retina and optic nerve for any abnormalities that may contribute to tunnel vision.


This test measures intraocular pressure, helping to detect conditions such as glaucoma, which can cause tunnel vision.

Section 4: Medical Tests and Imaging for Accurate Diagnosis

In some cases, additional medical tests and imaging techniques may be needed to accurately diagnose tunnel vision and identify its underlying cause.

Electroretinography (ERG):

The ERG measures the electrical responses of the retina, helping to diagnose retinal conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa. This test evaluates the ability of retinal cells to respond to light stimulation.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT):

OCT uses light waves to create detailed images of the retina, optic nerve, and other structures, which aids in the evaluation of retinal health. This helps to identify any structural abnormalities that may be contributing to tunnel vision.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):

An MRI may be performed to evaluate the visual processing centers of the brain and to detect any abnormalities that may be contributing to tunnel vision. MRI can help identify neurological causes of tunnel vision.

Section 5: Accessories and Remedies for Tunnel Vision

Assistive devices and treatments can significantly increase the quality of life of individuals with tunnel vision. This includes:


Various accessories are designed to enhance visual perception and expand the visual field. Examples include prism glasses that shift the visual field, allowing individuals to see objects and people in their peripheral vision. Wide-angle mirrors can also be strategically placed to enhance situational awareness.

Tunnel Vision assistive devices

Here is a great site to look for assistive devices for tunnel vision.

Orientation and mobility training:

Specialized training programs help individuals with tunnel vision confidently navigate their environments. Training focused on spatial awareness, mobility techniques (such as cane use and adaptive walking strategies), and public transportation navigation.

Vision rehabilitation programs:

Vision rehabilitation programs provide comprehensive services to individuals with tunnel vision, with the goal of improving their functional abilities and quality of life. These programs may include low vision rehabilitation, which uses magnification devices and other visual aids to maximize remaining vision. Daily living skills training teaches adaptive techniques for activities of daily living, such as cooking and managing medications. Vocational rehabilitation helps individuals find and maintain employment commensurate with their abilities.

Psychological support and counseling:

Dealing with tunnel vision can be emotionally challenging, and psychological support plays an important role in helping individuals deal with the emotional impact of the condition. Counseling and support groups provide a safe space for individuals to express their feelings and share experiences with others facing similar challenges. This support helps individuals develop emotional coping strategies and build resilience.


So to conclude your question to what is tunnel vision its causes, symptoms and coping strategies, here it goes. Tunnel vision, as a form of peripheral vision loss, can significantly affect a person’s visual perception and daily life. Recognizing its symptoms, getting timely eye exams and getting proper medical tests is essential for early diagnosis and intervention.

By understanding what is tunnel vision and underlying causes of tunnel vision and coping strategies, individuals can embrace life’s opportunities, maintain balance, and live life to the fullest, despite the challenges posed by the condition. The incorporation of assistive devices and therapies further enhances their ability to navigate the world with greater independence and confidence. By striving for balance and using available resources, individuals can grow and adapt to the dynamic nature of life, thereby increasing their overall well-being and quality of life.

Interested to know more on topic of eye emergencies and how to handle them, read this article to gain a deeper perspective.

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