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  • Visual Field Defects

    The visual field refers to a person’s scope of vision while the eyes are focused on a central point. The nerves that carry visual signals follow a complex pathway from the back of the eye to the brain’s visual processing center, called the occipital lobe.

    When any part of this pathway is damaged because of a disease or an injury, part of the visual field may disappear. This is called a visual field defect.

    Additional Information

    Who gets visual field defects?

    There are many different diseases or traumatic injuries that can cause visual field defects. Some examples include:

    • Tumors (such as pituitary adenomas and optic gliomas)
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Pituitary gland disorders
    • Aneurysms
    • Stroke
    • Temporal arteritis
    • Macular degeneration
    • Glaucoma
    • Retinal detachment
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure

    How are visual field defects diagnosed?

    An eye exam will show whether you have vision loss and the pattern of vision loss can help your doctor diagnose the cause of the defect. Imaging tests may be used to determine if the defect is being caused by a neurological problem rather than an eye problem.

    Symptoms of Visual Field Defects

    Vision loss in one eye may indicate a problem in the eye, whereas the same visual field defect in both eyes may signal a problem in the brain.

    Signs that you may have a visual field defect include:

    • Bumping into things
    • Knocking over objects when reaching
    • Having difficulty reading
    • Getting into a car accident

    If you think you are having symptoms of vision problems, contact a medical professional.

    Treatments for Visual Field Defects

    Treatment for a visual field defect depends on the cause of the defect.

    If you are experiencing vision loss due to a neurological problem, we can help. At Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, we have specialists in brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, pituitary gland disorders, aneurysms, and stroke.

    Request an Appointment with a Neuro-ophthalmologist

    Call (602) 406-6262

    • Date of last review: January 1, 2020

    About Barrow Neurological Institute
    Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.