How is vision affected by a stroke or a traumatic brain injury?
A properly functioning brain is needed in order to see well. What we visualize is a result of what our eyes see and then what our brain processes. The nerves in the eyes travel to the back of the brain. It then inputs information about what you are actually seeing. Most strokes affect one side of the brain. This, in turn, results in Homonymous Hemianopia where stroke victims can only see one-half of the sights in front of them.
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.
We also see patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. As noted above, you need a properly working brain in order to see well. When there is damage to the brain, it can affect the way your brain processes information.
What are the types of vision problems from a stroke or TBI?
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Issues with peripheral vision
- Loss of vision in half of each eye
What can be done?
This can be a very frustrating feeling for stroke victims and unfortunately quite common. As with any form of low vision, traditional glasses or contacts are not sufficient to see properly. At Southern Low Vision, we have various devices that can help you see properly again so you can go back to doing those tasks that you loved. Certain telescopes and other technical devices are designed to focus the eyes in certain ways that you can see properly and regain your independence. We regularly see patients from across New Jersey who are stroke victims looking to see properly again.
One thing in particular that we like is a new product called Side Vision Awareness Glasses or SVAG. This lens was specifically designed to help those suffering from Homonymous Hemianopia. Their goal is to develop field expansion. In simple terms, bring the loss of peripheral vision to the center where vision is not affected. They reduce distracting color aberrations seen through other lenses. Ascetically, the lens is thin enough that it blends into the glasses.
It is important to know that vision loss is a fairly common result of a stroke. You are not alone. However, with the proper special Low Vision glasses and devices, you can get back much of that vision that was lost. Give us a call to see how we can help.