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Why Is My Peripheral Vision Blurry?

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An eye doctor checking the eyes of his patient for signs of retinal tear.

If you discover that your peripheral vision has become blurry, it’s important to determine the underlying cause with a professional eye exam, as the situation could be caused by a severe eye condition.

There are several reasons why your peripheral vision may be blurry, including a retinal tear or detachment, glaucoma, a concussion, and several other health conditions. Visiting an eye care professional is critical for determining what’s causing your blurry vision and receiving care that can help preserve your eye health.

In some cases, emergency eye care services may be needed to address the underlying cause of blurry peripheral vision and preserve your sight. Early detection and treatment for eye conditions are vital for preserving your vision and overall eye health.

Potential Causes of Blurry Peripheral Vision 

Retinal Detachment & Tears

If you experience any sudden change in your vision, especially if it involves the loss or blurriness of your peripheral vision, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention. This could be a sign of a retinal detachment or tearing, which, if left untreated, could lead to permanent blindness. 

You should also be aware of any floaters, spots, or shadows in your vision, as these could also indicate a retinal issue or another serious eye condition.

Optic Neuritis

The optic nerve connects the eye and the brain and sends visual information from the retina. Optic neuritis occurs as a result of optic nerve inflammation and has several potential causes. It can cause loss of vision in one or both eyes that is often temporary.

This condition can happen to anyone, though it typically occurs in adults aged 20–40, those assigned female at birth, and people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). Your eye doctor can detect optic neuritis, so regular eye exams are important for spotting the condition and getting treatment early.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare disorder in which the retina’s light sensitivity gradually degenerates. Those affected by retinitis pigmentosa may notice poor night vision and a slow reduction of peripheral vision as they age, with severe narrowing of the field of vision as the condition progresses.

Other symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa include sensitivity to bright light and loss of color vision.

While there is no cure for retinitis pigmentosa, our eye care team can help manage the condition to preserve your sight. There are several treatment options available, including low vision aids and other forms of visual support, as well as certain vitamin supplements.

Eye Strokes

An eye stroke, also known as anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, is a serious condition caused by insufficient blood flow to the tissue in the front part of the optic nerve. When the blockage occurs at the point where the blood vessels emerge out of the optic nerve and onto the retina, it is called a central or branch retinal artery occlusion. 

An eye stroke can strike without warning and lead to vision loss in one eye. Symptoms may include a dark area or shadow in the upper or lower half of the visual field, loss of visual contrast, and light sensitivity. Pain is not typically associated with this condition, and many people first notice these symptoms upon waking in the morning.


Glaucoma is a group of conditions associated with damage to the optic nerve, which can eventually lead to blindness if not treated. Some types of glaucoma are painless and progress slowly, making it difficult to detect without an annual eye exam. Other types of glaucoma can develop rapidly with a sudden onset of severe symptoms.

Symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of glaucoma but can include:

  • Blurry peripheral vision
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Blind spots in your eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • An increase in eye pressure
  • Eye redness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Concussions & Head Injuries

If you suffer a serious impact to the head, it can lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs, such as concussions, have been known to affect vision, leading to the loss of peripheral vision, distorted or blurry vision, and other kinds of vision loss.

Additional Causes of Blurry Peripheral Vision

In addition to the conditions above, other causes of blurry peripheral vision can include drug or alcohol use, nerve compression, and other forms of brain damage, such as from a disease or stroke.

A man sitting at a desk with an open laptop and rubbing his temples because of a headache caused by an eye condition.

Support for Blurry Peripheral Vision

There are many possible causes of blurry peripheral vision, so finding the underlying cause is critical for getting treatment that can preserve your sight.

At Hercules Optometric Group, we can help with both sudden and gradual changes to your vision. We can determine the cause of blurry peripheral vision and provide treatment to support your eye health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or visit us for emergency eye care.

Written by Total Vision

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