Living with peripheral vision loss can be a tad embarrassing at times. It’s caused me to let out a loud girly squeal whilst using the photocopier at work, when the Dean (no less) suddenly appeared on my bad side, seemingly out of nowhere, and boomed “Good morning!” at me. It’s resulted in me leaping a foot in the air and bashing my knuckles on the hand-dryer in the loo at work, when a student materialised out of thin air at the hand-dryer alongside me. It’s caused me to berate my good friend when she spotted me in the distance one day and ran to catch up with me, grabbing my right arm as she did so and thereby scaring the living daylights out of me. I frequently jump violently and then swear with equal violence under my breath when a cyclist whizzes past me as I walk along the paths on campus. After stumbling over students’ bags in the entrance to my workplace on several occasions, I now walk round and use a different door if I need to enter or exit at the time a lecture is due to start or finish. Last but not least, I’ve acquired some interesting bruises on my right shoulder due to various minor mishaps.
The loss of peripheral vision in my right eye is due to the 360 degree laser surgery which was done in an attempt to stop the retina from re-detaching and to try and save my central vision. I suspect the three retinectomies (where part of the retina which won’t lie flat is physically cut away) probably haven’t helped matters, either. Of course, unless people have actually experienced loss of peripheral vision themselves, it’s difficult to expect them to fully understand. I thought perhaps a visual interpretation might help, and therefore sought the assistance of my personal patient photographer, who happily doubled up as a person with properly working peepers. (It’s such a shame that the ‘h’ in ‘photographer’ messes up the alliteration there; however, I digress…) Our highly scientific peripheral vision experiments when looking at the fields just down the road from my house, followed by extensive jiggery pokery with photo-editing software, led to the following results…
The picture below shows the complete field of vision of a person with properly working peepers, with both eyes open:
The following picture shows the field of vision of both a person with properly working peepers and myself, when our right eyes are closed (so looking only through the left eye):
The next picture shows the field of vision of a person with properly working peepers, whose left eye is closed (so looking through the right eye only):
The final picture (below) shows the field of vision in my right eye, with my left eye closed:
If you compare the last two pictures, you can get some idea of how much peripheral vision I’ve lost in my right eye. If you look at these pictures in conjunction with the images in my earlier blog post, Do you see what I see?, this gives the most accurate representation possible of my waffy vision as it is at the current time. So with that in mind, if you could kindly avoid sneaking up on me on my right-hand side, that’d be just grand…
Note: Grateful thanks to the patient photographer for producing these images for me and putting up with extensive peripheral vision analysis in the process.