With a visual field loss the patient is literally blind to half of their field of vision. This places the person at increased risk of further injury and harm from bumping into objects, being struck by approaching objects, and falls.
A two fold approach is used to treat visual field loss. Visual rehabilitation activities are prescribed by the doctor and administered by the therapist to teach scanning of the hemianopic field loss. This is a difficult task. It is the act of seeing something that brings our visual attention and scanning to bear. However, these patients do not see to the field they are being trained to scan and attend. Therapy is aimed at teaching that and several approaches have been developed to assist in this, but remediation still requires a lot of effort and patience.
Special visual field awareness prism lenses are used in treating visual field loss. As the patient scans into the prism the optics are shifted so as to perceptually gain about 15 to 20 degrees of visual field recognition. Since diplopia is perceived when scanning into the prism, fixation in the prism must be brief. These are used as spotting devices only to determine if there is an object in the periphery that deserves further visual attention. When such an object is spotted, the patient turns their head to view it in detail with their intact central vision.