Why Am I Struggling to See Things Directly in Front of Me?

Oct 01, 2023
Why Am I Struggling to See Things Directly in Front of Me?
Vision loss affects millions of people of all ages, and it can happen suddenly, or over a long period of time for many reasons. If you’re struggling with problems with seeing things right in front of you, read on to find out why.

Problems with vision are common and can range from mild conditions like hyperopia or myopia (farsightedness and nearsightedness, respectively) to problems that can lead to complete vision loss. Issues with proper vision are among the most frequent problems with children, and affect over 12 million adults over 40, of which 1 million are blind. The types of conditions that cause these issues vary from gradual illnesses that affect how well you see over time, or sudden vision problems that come from either damage to the eyes or other issues that impair your sight.

Vision loss can also damage specific parts of your vision, including your general vision, peripheral vision (seeing out of the corner of your eye), your night vision, and your ability to see in your central vision. The latter one focuses on your ability to see details in the things in front of you, and there are several problems that can make this more difficult. To discover what could be causing problems with seeing things in front of you, let’s examine what your central vision is, what problems can complicate how it works, and how it can be treated.

If you live in the Muncie, Indiana, area and you’re struggling with seeing in front of you or other eye problems, Dr. Jeffrey Rapkin and his dedicated medical staff at the Retina Consultants of Muncie can help.

Understanding central vision

Your eyes work to help you see the world in a variety of ways, and central vision is the ability to not just see straight ahead of you but to examine things with fine detail, such as when you’re reading, writing, or recognizing people. This is a visual task accomplished with specific parts of your eyes: the retina, the macula, and the fovea. The retina acts as the general light sensitive tissue with the macula at its center, and the fovea is the center of your macula. This small section of your eye (the macula is only five millimeters across) possesses the highest concentration of photoreceptors, the light detecting cells that send the messages to your brain to be translated into imagery.

This part of your sight is most responsible for your ability to make out shapes, distinguish colors, and examine objects. The other parts of your vision such as peripheral vision are also a function of your retina, but your macula fine tunes your central vision.

Illnesses that affect it

Here are some of the conditions that can affect your ability to see in front of you:

  • Macular degeneration: this is often age-related (affecting people 50 and older) but can affect younger people and can affect you in either wet or dry form
  • Macular edema: this results from retinal swelling in the back of the eye from abnormal blood vessels or fluid buildup
  • Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS): this is a result of having macular degeneration that leads to visual hallucinations like flashes of lights, colors, or shapes
  • Stargardt disease: a genetic illness and the most common type of juvenile macular degeneration

Other illnesses that affect this part of your vision include Bull’s eye maculopathy, central serous retinopathy, cone dystrophy, diabetic macular edema, macular hole, and retinal vein occlusion.

Methods of treatment

Treating these conditions will depend on the cause and severity in each patient. In addition to addressing the underlying cause, options for caring for these illnesses include rehabilitation programs, special glasses, surgery, and injections. If diabetes is involved in causing problems like edema, managing your blood sugar can help to improve your overall eye health.

If you’re struggling to see in front of you, it’s likely due to some form of damage to the center of your retina, and regardless of what’s causing it, we have options to help. To get your eyes treated and improve your vision, make an appointment with Dr. Rapkin and the Retina Consultants of Muncie today.