Visual problems


Visual problems are common after a stroke. They often resolve themselves in time as the brain recovers, although where recovery doesn’t happen, they can be quite difficult to adjust to.

Visual problems after a stroke falls into several categories, depending on exactly where in the brain the stroke occurred. These categories include:

  • central vision loss – the partial or complete loss of vision in one or both of your eyes.
  • visual field loss – you are unable to see properly either to the left or to the right of the centre of your field of vision.
  • eye movement problems, and
  • visual processing problems.

Eye movement problems are common after stroke. Problems can include:

  • impaired eye movements
  • inability to move both eyes up, down or sideways
  • nystagmus, and
  • impaired depth perception.

Exercises can improve eye movements where there is difficulty moving the eyes to look at objects held close to the face. Prisms can join double vision or displace vision if you are unable to look to one side. A patch can also be used to eliminate troublesome double vision. Your must choose which option works best for you.

With visual processing problems such as inability to recognise colours, faces, objects, complex scenes or text, it is important to use adaptive strategies such as using other senses (for example touch or hearing) to process the information in a different way and relearn or adapt visual recognition.

It is important for an eye specialist to assess your eye problems and give you individual advice and treatment.


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