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Thursday 27th October 2016

Partially blind can use peripheral vision

14th April 2009

The Macular Disease Society has said registered blind and partially sighted people could be taught how to use their peripheral vision to help them watch television and read.


In conditions such as macular degeneration, which affects between 25 and 30 million people across the globe, a person loses the ability to see the central part of their visual field.

However, their peripheral vision stays undamaged and experts believe patients could be trained to use it to help them perform normal tasks.

The macula is situated in the retina. It processes both smaller details and the centre of a person's vision. A person with macular degeneration can have problems reading or recognising faces due to the loss of the central part of their eyesight.

Studies have shown that using special techniques such as "eccentric viewing" and "steady eye" can "fill in the gaps".

Eccentric viewing teaches a person how to improve vision by discovering the right point of focus. Using this method, a person with central vision loss can try the steady eye technique in order to read again.

Macular Disease Society chief executive Tom Bremridge said: "Eccentric viewing works by making the most of vision that remains."

"Our scheme has transformed lives - helping people to relearn basic skills they thought to have lost for good."



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