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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

What Is Eccentric Viewing?

A child holding a soccer ball is shown with the image being blurry and the child's face ocvered with a simulared blind spot

A simulation of how macular degeneration affects vision.  m

Eccentric viewing is a technique used by people with central vision loss.

With macular degeneration and similar diseases, a blind spot blocks objects in your central field of vision. The surrounding area is still visible, though less sharp.

Imagine closing your left eye and holding a quarter up to cover the center of your right eye. This simulates a blind spot. Whenever you move your eye, the quarter, or blind spot, moves the same way. When using eccentric viewing, you look slightly away from the object you want to see, moving the blind spot away from the object. You then use your peripheral vision to see the object. Think of it as almost peeking around the blind spot.

With training from a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist,  practice, and adaptations, this technique can help you see faces, read large print or magnified text, and manage your daily tasks using remaining vision. Learning to use eccentric viewing can be frustrating. It usually takes several weeks with a CVRT and lots of practice to master this skill.

It is important to keep in mind that eccentric viewing will not improve vision — it will just maximize remaining vision.