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How to Improve Peripheral Vision

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

Over your lifetime, your eyes will generally degrade in some way. Maintaining your vision requires staying informed, like learning how to improve peripheral vision. Your peripheral vision is what allows you to see objects around you without having to turn your head or move your eyes.

It helps you sense anything moving within your field of vision without actually having to be looking directly at it. This helps you maneuver yourself more effectively, preventing you from bumping or crashing into objects.

Peripheral vision is split into near, mid, and far-peripheral vision; the latter sitting at the edge of a person’s field of view. Understand that most people do not realize that their peripheral vision in deteriorating until it is too late. This usually happens during old age, as it’s much less common for a young person to lose their peripheral vision.

Learning About Your Vision and How to Improve Peripheral Vision

Mild cases of peripheral vision loss can occur from ocular migraines or eye floaters, which is when the jelly-like substance of your eyes become more liquid, and the tiny fibers within the vitreous tend to clump and cast shadows on your retina, thus blocking your peripheral vision.

More severe cases of peripheral vision loss can stem from glaucoma (a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve), a stroke, or brain aneurysms.

Experiencing peripheral vision loss can be imagined as follows: you’re staring through a hole, at first you can see up, down, and side-to-side. However, that hole gets smaller over time and you are no longer able to see as much as you could before.

This is also known as “tunnel vision” which is similar to being on a train going through a mountain. You can see everything in front of you, but the up, down, and side-to-side becomes black and is no longer visible.

Why You Need It

Peripheral vision is very important for things like motion detection and what is known as the capability to perceive flicker stimuli (when the light entering your eye is completely steady or not, detecting fast changes in light).

Our lives are filled with necessary everyday functions and tasks. Simple things like eating or more dangerous tasks such as driving rely on peripheral vision. With proper peripheral vision, you don’t need to directly look at your food each time you move towards your plate. When you start to experience peripheral vision loss, driving becomes a serious danger. Your blind spots will get much worse, and that can be a real danger for you and the people around you.

Good peripheral vision is a necessity to accomplish even the most simple of everyday tasks and functions. Even walking down the street can be hazardous for someone who has lost their peripheral vision.

What You Can Do

The human eye is a bundle of muscles that need to be exercised and trained, like any other muscle. Keeping a healthy lifestyle means ensuring that your eyes are well taken care of, but that also means understanding how your eyes work.

Exercising and vision training can help with eye strain and eye irritation. More importantly, dedicated training is the most noted way to improve peripheral vision. That means doing training exercises each day, possibly multiple times a day, to start noticing any results. Like any other form of training, you need to incorporate your training into your daily routine.

How to Improve Peripheral Vision Using Training Methods

One eye exercise involves sitting on a park bench and writing a list, which many would find to be enjoyable:

  1. Grab a pen and a sheet of paper and find a bench in an uncrowded place.

  2. Concentrate on everything you can see in front of you without moving your eyes, including what you can make out in your peripheral vision.

  3. When you have finished, write a list of everything that you saw.

  4. Repeat the first two steps and see what you can add to your list.

  5. Repeat the entire process a few times each session.

This helps increase your peripheral vision ability by training your brain and stretching your eye muscles.

Another way to improve peripheral vision is by using six-step eye-training process:

  1. Stretch and relax your neck;Stretch your eye muscles by rolling them around your head, then relax them;

  2. Pick a focal point in your direct field of vision, focus on that point and then slowly spread your awareness to the spaces around that point.

  3. Then find more challenging focal points in your direct field of vision, and slowly spread your awareness to space around those points.

  4. Move on to focal points around your direct field of vision: above your head, to the side of your head, below your head, to the other side of your head.

  5. Repeat this process several times, and try it a few times each day.

This helps train your eye and allows you to maintain a connection with your peripheral vision. Add this to your daily routine when you first wake up in the morning and before you go to bed.

More Tips

Sports vision specialists know how to improve your peripheral vision through specialized techniques and equipment. These can include holographic light projection, computerized tests that measure stimuli and reactions, or slides seen through special viewers. These specialists also apply training technique schedules to accompany the specialized equipment.

Many vision therapy specialists offer in-depth training programs that require several appointments. These could span weeks, months, or even years. So, going this route requires dedication and availability to meet the appointments. Plus, these methods can also be quite expensive.

If you are concerned about your vision, learning how to improve your peripheral vision yourself, at home, is important to leading a happy life of clear vision. Unfortunately, it is not currently known whether you can completely regain your peripheral vision, especially during old age. But maintaining your peripheral vision is key to leading a safe and healthy life.

This post originally appeared on Rebuild Your Vision.


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