Healthy eyes. 20/20 acuity.
Yet some folks (any age!) struggle to:
- orient themselves
- find what is right in front of them
- relate the details to the context
- relate the figure to the ground
- see the forest for the trees
Why is it that an eye which CAN see in the periphery (if tested with lights on a dim background) DOESN’T see with a large visual area in the real world?
This is a functional form of Tunnel Vision!
Tunnel vision is a common response to
Tunneling is a way in which a person who is overwhelmed, visually or otherwise, may filter out “unnecessary” information. This helps a person to reduce how much is “on their plate,” both figuratively and literally. Tunneling helps a person limit their visual world to a manageable parcel.
The effects of a tunnel vision response do not limit themselves to challenges of objects “hidden in plain sight.”
Among the ripple effects of tunnel vision:
- Feeling ungrounded/ unsettled
- Needing to touch things (chairs, tables, walls) for the security of knowing where one is.
- Tendency to fidget excessively/ be in constant motion, to know where the body is in space
- Getting lost — in the real world and when reading
- Losing place– skipping lines or words when reading
- Difficulty putting big concepts together in reading comprehension (when reading to self)
- Using a finger to try to keep on track when reading
- Losing items/objects, misplacing things
- Difficulty with team sports/ ball sports
- Tendency to get excessively close to reading material
- Sitting excessively close to television or handheld video game screen
- Tendency to hunch over reading material
- Tendency to curl hands inwards when writing (so that hand covers up the last line of print)
- Tendency for motion sickness/ car sickness
This link is to one such child who was struggling with tunnel vision before getting help.
Sound familiar? These and other signs of struggle may indicate a vision problem. Read more here.
For an outstanding article on the topic, published in the January 2014 edition of Optometry and Visual Performance, please read:
Tunneling– A Pervasive Vision Disorder, by Jeffrey Getzell