Every year, approximately 800,000 people in the United States experience a stroke. Of that number, around 600,000 are new strokes. The effects of a stroke can be devastating, and the severity of the stroke will depend on the location and age of the patient. In this blog, we will discuss how a stroke can affect the visual system and the various ways it can impact a patient's daily life.

How can a stroke affect your vision and negatively impact your quality of life?

Visual field loss after a stroke

One of the most common effects of a stroke on the visual system is visual field loss. About 50% of stroke patients experience a visual field defect, which can range from a small loss to a significant loss involving half of the patient's visual field. A visual field loss can affect a patient's mobility, their ability to read, and their coordination and movements. It can also impact their general well-being.

Mobility and visual-spatial concerns after a stroke

For patients over the age of 65 who have had a stroke, about 50% experience mobility problems. The visual-spatial concerns that can arise after a stroke include difficulty judging space and depth perception, which can affect a patient's ability to know where their body is in space when moving. Our visual system is powerful and affects all these areas.

During a neuro optometric evaluation, our neuro optometrist will look for problems with eye movements, eye coordination, and mobility. If you don’t live near an Amplify practice, you might begin your search online by entering “neuro optometrist near me”.

Poor ability to read and comprehend information

When there is a visual field loss, it can also affect a patient's ability to read and comprehend information. One area that is studied in stroke patients is called visual spatial inattention. This is when the patient may not perceive the space off to one side, usually the left side, and as a result, they may not perceive that they have a left arm or a left side to their face. This can affect their ability to eat and complete daily activities.

Visual spatial inattention is manageable through vision therapy. In our optometry clinic in Santa Clarita, special tests are run to identify patients with this condition. The therapy involves teaching patients to scan into the fields where they are having difficulty. Over time, this can help to break down the visual spatial inattention.

Binocular vision dysfunction

Another area that is looked at during evaluations is binocular coordination, which is how the two eyes work together as a team after a stroke. Often, there are problems with this area, resulting in double vision or the splitting of images. This can be rehabilitated through vision rehabilitation techniques that involve activating the motor system. Our eyes are part of the brain and body, so by moving the body in specific patterns of movement, the visual system can work at a higher level. Learn more about binocular vision dysfunction.

Is blurry, fuzzy, or double vision impacting your quality of life and vision? Take our online double vision assessment to help identify if you may have an underlying vision problem that is causing diplopia (double vision)

Schedule a neuro-optometric evaluation with Dr. Garbus, FAAO at Amplify EyeCare Santa Clarita

A stroke can have a significant impact on the visual system, affecting mobility, reading, and daily activities. If you or a loved one has had a stroke, it is important to have a comprehensive evaluation by our neuro optometrist. There are various therapies and rehabilitation techniques that can help to improve visual function and quality of life. Patients with functional vision issues following a head injury or stroke visit our clinic from all over California, and we are proud to be a leading provider of neuro optometric rehabilitation services for patients from Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Lancaster, and San Fernando Valley.

Receive the best care by visiting us for an eye exam after a stroke at our leading optometry clinic in Valencia, drawing patients from the neighboring areas of Santa Clarita, Palmdale, and San Fernando Valley. Call (661) 775-1860 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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