Less than 5 degrees looks like…

A question I am regularly asked is “What can you see?”  It’s actually a tricky question to answer, because I can answer it medically (with percentages and terminology) or literally (I can see your face, but not the colour of your eyes!)

Facebook has been throwing around an image that may help.

My vision currently sits at just under 3 degrees (some call percent) central vision, with nystagmus (involuntary twitch) and a distance vision that is classed as ‘finger counting’ (I can’t even read the top letter of the eye chart, just fingers that the nurse holds up-as long as she does this against a contrasting background)

Complicated right?

The image that many friends have shared lately on Facebook is quite helpful:

Images shows visual field on a semi-circular diagram, breaking down the different parts of the view. With the centre 5% highlighted and standing out from the main diagram.

This diagram details what an eye can see while looking forward and focussing in on a spot or image, without moving the eyes or head the majority of people will have a good range of ‘far peripheral’

where as I have just the central vision (just 5 degrees of overall sight) and thus stands at less that 3 degrees for me.

Despite common misconception this doesn’t mean that the rest of my vision is black or dark, it just isn’t there.  Many RP (retinitis websites show photographs for a sighted person and for an RP sufferer.

Two images side by side, left image is of a lake with waterfall surrounded by autumnal trees. The right side of the image has all but a small proportion of the image blacked out, just showing he waterfall part along with the caption "view for someone with Retinitus Pigmentosa

They show the RP view of the same photograph with the outer area blacked out, many friends took these images literally I thought I saw a lot of black.

I can see the whole picture; only it takes concentration, scanning and an element of memory to get the same result.  Or what I believe to he the same result as someone without my eye condition.


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