Tunnel Vision

By Nimi Patel

Image Credit: Helyx Graphic Designer: Faiza Chowdhury

Imagine waking up one day only to open your eyes and realize you are seeing through a tunnel. You try moving your eyes to the right, left, up, and down. You try blinking, but it seems that you can only see through the center of the tunnel. You are suffering from tunnel vision.

Tunnel vision is a condition in which an individual loses their peripheral vision, causing their vision to narrow greatly. Tunnel vision can be temporary or permanent in some cases, making it essential to visit a doctor when you notice a loss of peripheral vision. What are the causes for this sudden loss in peripheral vision?

The first cause for tunnel vision is glaucoma. Glaucoma, known as the “silent thief of sight,” is a disease in which an increased intraocular pressure caused by a buildup of liquid called aqueous humor damages the optic nerve. Due to this nerve damage, an individual’s vision is harmed too, often leading to blind spots and other vision issues. These blind spots can eventually lead to tunnel vision, which poses a larger threat.

Another cause of tunnel vision is cataracts. Cataracts are caused by an increase in protein in the eye, which leads to the clouding of the lens. This can create blurred vision, sensitivity to light, tunnel vision, and much more. Cataracts can cause tunnel vision when the edges of the lens are damaged.

Among the multiple causes of tunnel vision lies one more: medication. Often an essential part of life to combat life-threatening diseases and other ailments, medication also comes with great risk. Certain medications such as nitroglycerin, brimonidine, scopolamine, and many more have been associated with an increased risk of tunnel vision. This is because a side-effect of these medications is tunnel vision.

Eye diseases, such as glaucoma, are known to cause permanent tunnel vision, while alcohol abuse or concussions cause temporary vision loss. Regardless of the length of time tunnel vision lasts, it can be an impediment to one’s vision and enjoyment of life. Unfortunately, despite the technological advancements the medical field has had, there is no cure to tunnel vision as of yet. With this being said, the need to visit an eye doctor for routine check ups to discover and cure any problems that may be present in one’s eyes is essential.


Malik, A. (2020, April 13). What is Tunnel Vision? Causes, Symptoms and Treatments for Peripheral Vision Loss. Retrieved July 26, 2020, from https://irisvision.com/what-is-tunnel-vision-causes-symptoms-and-treatments-for-peripheral-vision-loss/

What Is Tunnel Vision, and Can It Be Fixed or Prevented? (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2020, from https://www.nvisioncenters.com/conditions/tunnel-vision/

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