Peripheral Vision

Definition - What does Peripheral Vision mean?

The peripheral vision refers to the ability to perceive objects outside the range of the center of gaze, a measurable parameter that represents the visual acuity field within a circumference of 170 degrees in which peripheral vision accounts for 100 degrees of normal vision. The retina contains rod cells and cone cells that absorb light rays, transmitting a bioelectric signal via the optic nerve to the brain to convert the message into a visual image.

WorkplaceTesting explains Peripheral Vision

Peripheral vision constitutes three subsets including near-peripheral vision, mid-peripheral vision, and far-peripheral vision, serving as a clinical index for gauging the compass of healthy eyesight for individuals. Gradual deterioration of the peripheral vision over time is known as tunnel vision, attributable to epidemiological implications such as glaucoma, among other eye conditions, that lead to erosion of the optic nerve, compromising vision altogether. Peripheral vision loss warrants immediate medical attention to diagnose the cause followed by corrective solutions in the form of specially designed eyeglasses featuring a prism that can help diffuse the general field of vision.

Physicians employ three distinctive tests including automated perimetry, confrontation visual field exam, and tangent screen, all of which apply a methodology focusing on visuospatial cues as a mechanism in triggering responses from the patient. For example, a patient may be tasked with pressing a button when detecting flashes of light (automated perimetry). The interplay between the cone cells and rod cells is critical in distinguishing between low lighting (rod cells) and registering bright lights and color (cone cells), composite properties of the retina that can reflect the normal or abnormal peripheral vision in a person. Hence, while some home vision tests are available, a physician may conduct adjunct testing such as the Humphrey Visual Field test, especially following questionable peripheral vision testing that might suggest candidacy for glaucoma.

In some cases, an individual with a visual impairment may qualify for disability based on the Social Security’s disability listings or the medical-vocational allowance serving as caveats for the legal guidelines in receiving eligible benefits. A patient must demonstrate progressive peripheral vision loss in both eyes to meet the criteria for disability coverage.

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