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Stroke Victims and Low Vision – How We Can Help

How does a stroke or a traumatic brain injury effect vision?

Older Couple Bench Bikes 1280x853The way that we properly see is that our eyes process what is in front of them. Through nerves, it sends that information to the back of the brain which processes it and sends it back to the eyes. This is what vision is. Thus, in order to see well, you need a brain that functions well. Stroke victims often experience what is called Homonymous Hemianopia. This is where they can only see one half of what is in front of them as a result in part of the brain having suffered from a stroke.

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.

A similar thing happens after a traumatic brain injury. Since the brain is vital to proper vision, when then the brain is injured, eyesight is naturally injured as well.

What are the symptoms of vision loss from a stroke or a traumatic brain injury?

There are many different symptoms that can occur to vision when the brain has been effected. They include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Issues with peripheral vision
  • Loss of vision in half of each eye

What are some common vision problems from a brain injury?

  • When we observe an object moving we need to use eye movement to follow that object. When a brain injury occurs, there will be issues with proper eye movement. Even when looking at an object that isnt moving, we tend to scan that object
  • Normally, when an object is seen up close and then at a distance, our eyes know to adjust. The lens inside the eyes helps us with that. After TBI, the lens may not work properly to focus in and out of objects near and far
  • Eye muscles can be not working properly so that you may have one eye looking in while the other is looking out
  • Peripheral vision can be lost or damaged. Items normally seen out of the corners of your eyes will now be difficult to make out or blurry.
  • One can only see half the items in front of them. This is particularly true with stroke victims

Can vision be improved after a stroke?senior woman with middle aged woman

The results of a stroke can be frustrating in many ways, especially when it comes to vision. It will become a lot harder to do the things you once did with ease such as drive or read. Our New York City Low Vision Doctors are trained to assist stroke victims to regain some of the vision loss. While traditional glasses or contact lenses will not help, our various telescopes or other devices are designed to help the eyes focus and be able to see items properly again. Give us a call at 646-846-7741 to discuss the best course of action for you.