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DESCRIPTION: Portion(s) of the retinal field that are non-functional (i.e., blind areas). Scotomas may be central, if caused by macular or optic nerve disease, or peripheral if the result of chorioretinal lesions or retinal holes. Field testing, if carefully done, can identify the areas affected.

TREATMENT: There is no treatment for scotomas.

When they are in the peripheral areas and are not large, they usually do not cause severe problems in general visual functioning. If the scotomas are large or numerous, mobility may be affected.

Central scotomas are another situation entirely. Functional acuity is severely affected and educational adjustments are indicated. Magnification or large print may be indicated. Higher levels of illumination and good contrast in reading materials may also be useful. Color perception may be affected.

IMPLICATION: Eccentric viewing may be a symptomatic and spontaneous adjustment to a central scotoma.

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