What happens to your vision after a stroke?
We need our brains to see. Our vision is a function of our eyes seeing things, sending that information through our nerves to the back of the brain, and processing that information. We thus need a properly functioning brain in order to see well. When a stroke occurs, vision is effected through a process known as Homonymous Hemianopia. The stroke victim can now only see half of what is in front of them. About 1/3 of stroke victims will experience vision loss and will now have low vision.
If there is a stroke on the right side of the brain, vision loss will occur on the left side. When there is a stroke on the left side of the brain, vision loss will occur on the right side. In both cases, vision loss is effected on both eyes. In rare cases, the stroke will affect both sides and there will be total vision loss.
Are there other ways a stroke can effect vision?
As noted above, the most common effect of a stroke to vision is Homonymous Hemianopia which is commonly known as side vision loss. When looking at a person, you now only see half of them. The majority of our stroke victim patients from Tennesse come in with that condition. Other, less common forms of vision loss from a stroke is Quadrantanopia. This is where the upper or lower quarter of vision is effected. Strokes can also be issues with eye movement, lazy eye, unsteady eye movement, dry eyes, and visual neglect where your brain can't fully process what you are seeing.
What can be done to see well after a stroke?
Not being able to see properly after a stroke can be devastating. There is a loss of independence. You have to start worrying about tripping and maintaining balance. We have a number of bioptic telescope glasses that can help. Certain technical devices have been designed to focus the eye to where vision isn't effected. Peripheral vision is often effected and our specialty lenses allow you to focus away from the peripheral and to center in on your good line of vision. Side vision awareness glasses help ones see the blind area of their field of view. Dr. Rinkov is one of the few doctors in the country using this technique to help stroke victims function visually better. Read more about our special telescopic low vision aids.
While the results of a stroke can be life-changing, one should not give up hope of seeing properly again. We will do our best to fit stroke victims with special low vision aids that help them regain their independence. Call us at 614-400-3950 for a free consultation and to see how we can help.