Compensatory Strategies for Peripheral Vision Loss

Organize Visual Scanning

Educating clients with peripheral vision loss on scanning their environment will improve their awareness of context and objects outside their vision field area. Organize visual scanning ignites memory and other sensory systems that will assist and individual to remember the bigger picture of their environment and awareness of their visual field loss. However, there are factors that may make this technique difficult to adapt such as damage to the parietal cortex and certain areas in the frontal cortex where a person develops unilateral visual inattention or visual neglect. (Refer to Visual Perception Impairment Treatment).

It is important to educate the client that with the absence of peripheral vision, their “warning system” is impaired. “Warning system” is when one experiences a sudden rapid movement occurring in their periphery. For example, when we are driving and there is a car to our right or left side – we often remain driving straight to avoid hitting these cars. Without peripheral vision, the warning system will not be able to make someone aware of unexpected danger. Furthermore, peripheral vision loss also impairs night vision increasing the risk for falls, bumping into objects, and unsafe driving in the dark. Individuals with worsening peripheral vision loss may lead to overall field vision loss and may benefit from supplementary training from an orientation and mobility specialist to optimize their independence and increase safety awareness.

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