What is visual field loss?
“Visual field loss” describes a reduced visual field, where the 180-degree angle is reduced, and patients suffer from impaired special vision. Visual field loss can occur on one or both eyes, depending on the condition. Visual field defects on both eyes are predominantly asymmetrical, when the brain is damaged though, they are usually symmetrical.
In this case patients partially or completely loose half of their visual field (hemianopsia). Scotomas on the other hand are small blind spots, that can be round or oval. They primarily occur following smaller lesions of the visual pathway or the cortex, sometimes even in the area of highest acuity (central scotoma).
In most patients with visual field loss who are declared blind, following visual field tests, there are still areas of resiual vision. These areas are only partially damaged. For these areas the chance for recovery is especially high.
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Sabel
“The optimization of residual vision is a holistic complement to ophthalmological care such as eye drops or surgeries. We continue where ophthalmology stops. We combine conventional medical science with new findings from modern brain research and traditional medicine methods.”
What does a healthy visual field look like?
The visual field is the area of vision to the top, the bottom, to the right and to the left you see while focusing on one fixed point with your eyes. It forms a big circle and spans over about 180 degrees (90 degrees in each direction). In this area we are able to see with both eyes without having to move them.
Normally our acuity is highest in the central region, while we can merely see blurred contours in the periphery, whereas movement is especially well detected there.
How does visual field loss show itself?
Often visual field loss is noticed when patients bump into obstacles, stumble more often or even fall. They regularly report that something suddenly appeared out of nowhere. When reading, patients with visual field loss have trouble staying in the correct line or identifying letters on the edges of the page, which leads to problems when changing from one line to the next.
Patients with severe visual field loss can hardly walk in a straight line. When the defect reaches a certain size in both eyes, driving is not possible anymore.
How is visual field loss diagnosed?
The visual field can be measured with a so-called perimetry, which is done at the ophthalmologist. There is kinetic and static perimetry. In kinetic perimetry visual stimuli are moved from the seeable into a non-seeable area. The stimuli vary in size and brightness. In the static perimetry the visual stimuli start very dim and brighten up, until patients can see them.
Sometimes the so-called finger-perimetry is used. Here the patient fixates on the doctor’s face, while the doctor moves his fingers in and out of the patient’s visual field from different directions. With particularly severe visual field loss the patient is unable to see how many fingers the doctor holding up.
What is the cause of visual field loss?
There are multiple causes for visual field loss. First, there are eye diseases such as retinal detachment, glaucoma or conditions regarding the optic nerve.
Vascular disorders, diabetic retinopathy, brain tumors and migraines can lead to visual field loss as well. It can also be a symptom of brain lesions or a stroke. In that case, the eyes are unharmed because the root cause of the visual field loss lies in the brain.
Vision loss in one eye can already appear in early childhood. With the condition called amblyopia the brain focuses its whole attention on the better eye and neglects the other one.
How is visual field loss treated?
When the cause is known, a variety of measures can be taken. With conditions of the optic nerve and the retina, the objective of the therapy is to halt the progression of vision loss. Depending on the condition, drugs (e.g. eye drops) or surgery can be indicated.
To prevent blindness, the underlying disease needs to be treated as early as possible. But no conventional medical procedure has the aim of improving vision (excluding conditions in the frontal part of the eye i.e. the cornea or the lens e.g. with cataract)
How can the SAVIR-therapy help with visual field loss?
The SAVIR-therapy is suited for patients who suffer from conditions of the retina, the optic nerve or the brain. SAVIR utilizes the therapeutic effect of micro current, which improves blood flow to the retina and at the same time stimulates brain plasticity by reorganizing highly complex neural networks.
Because of that the SAVIR-therapy can help with eye conditions with visual field loss as well as with injuries of brain connectivity without direct impairment of the eyes.
In contrast to conventional medicine, SAVIR doesn’t follow the mantra of “blind means blind” but strengthens residual visual potential and can subsequently improve vision substantially. For example, blurry vision can be reduced, acuity can be improved and the visual field can grow in size, which, in turn, improves subjective abilities in activities of daily life. SAVIR continues, where conventional ophthalmology ends.
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