A stroke can have a significant impact on a patient’s eyesight. Although not all visual impairments occur directly after a stroke, some will notice changes right away. However, ocular damage can improve after a stroke with a vision rehabilitation therapist by retraining the brain to improve eye functioning through specific exercises. If a stroke has impaired your vision,

What is a stroke?

A stroke can occur when the blood flow is interrupted in the brain or through a brain hemorrhage. When blood flow to a portion of the brain is suddenly obstructed, brain activity stops causing damage to the brain cells.

During a stroke, the cells in the affected section of the brain begin to die, and that part of the brain becomes unable to function correctly. This can make it difficult for a person to move, see, talk, eat, read or do anything they could before the stroke.

One of the most terrifying aspects of growing older is having a stroke. Strokes can happen without warning with long-term, devastating consequences. Fortunately, stroke rehabilitation exercises can in many cases increase the chance of recovery from the side effects of a stroke.

What causes a stroke?

A risk factor is a condition or activity that is more common in people who have a higher chance of having a stroke. However, just because you don’t have a risk factor doesn’t guarantee you won’t have a stroke. But as the number and severity of risk factors increase, so does your risk of stroke.

Most factors that put you at risk are treatable. Health disorders that increase your chances of a stroke are high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and certain medications. Atherosclerosis, the narrowing and hardening of arteries that causes heart attacks, is responsible for around half of all strokes.

Lifestyle factors like chewing or smoking tobacco and being overweight also play a part in increasing chances of a stroke. It is important to maintain healthy habits to lower your risk of having a stroke.

Many stroke risk factors can be treated, and some of them can be managed quite successfully. Although there is no such thing as 0% risk at any age, you can reduce your risk of stroke death or disability by starting early and minimizing your risk factors.

Visual Loss in Stroke Patients

After a stroke, there are four types of ocular disorders that might emerge. Eye movement, central vision, peripheral vision, and visual processing can occur. Because each type of eye problem impacts the brain in a distinct way, vision rehabilitation treatment is tailored for each patient.

Eye Movement

Damage to the nerves that control your eyes causes eye movement issues after a stroke. You may notice problems like the inability to follow objects with your eyes or change your gaze from one object to another. It’s also possible that you’re having trouble moving your eyes up and down, or that one eye moves while the other doesn’t.

You may also notice that your eye movements become uncontrollable. Blurriness and dizziness may result from your eyes twitching or moving constantly. Due to decreased depth perception, you may also find that you can no longer gauge how far objects are from you.

Central Vision

One or both eyes may be affected by central vision loss. When this type of visual impairment occurs as a result of a brain stroke, it typically impacts both eyes. It can cause complete or partial vision loss, making it difficult to see anything in the center of your field of vision.

Depending on how severely your eye functioning was damaged, you could see things with your side vision or nothing at all. If you’ve had a retinal stroke, you can lose your center vision. An eye blood vessel blockage causes this type of stroke, which affects the eye rather than the brain.

Field Vision

Your ability to see objects to the left and right of your central line of sight is impacted. The location of the stroke in your brain has a direct impact on where you will lose sight or have vision abnormalities. A stroke to the back of the brain, which causes you to lose vision in half of each eye, is the most typical situation for stroke victims.

Blank patches in your vision, loss of upper or lower field of vision in one or both eyes, or a quarter of your field of vision gone in one or both eyes are all possible impairments.

Visual Processing

Visual processing, or the capacity to make sense of what you see, may be impaired after a stroke. Visual neglect is the most prevalent visual processing impairment following a stroke, and it can affect your impression of the world around you; for example, you might have problems identifying faces or colors. It’s also possible that you’re not aware of what’s going on in your right or left visual space.

Some people may be completely unaware of one side of their body. Following a stroke, some patients experience visual hallucinations, which are categorized as a visual processing impairment. It’s possible that you’ll start seeing things in your eyesight that aren’t really there, which can be extremely upsetting.

Final Thoughts

Blind and vision rehabilitation can help stroke patients recover. Treatment may take some time, but many people see an improvement in their vision and eye skills. Others have unresolved vision problems, although eye therapy can also assist patients in adjusting to their new vision. If a patient has eye issues after a stroke, visual field tests will be performed to discover which part of the eyesight was impacted so the therapist can develop a customized plan to improve the patient’s vision, if possible, or to assist the patient in adapting to his or her vision alterations.

Vision rehabilitation after stroke typically includes optical, eye movement, and visual restoration. Doctors from Everest Rehab can help you restore control of your eye movements and see as clearly as possible despite your impairments. Patients are encouraged to do eye workouts at home. They enhance healing by strengthening the eye muscles for better control. Patients who do not recover after treatment can, a last resort, opt for surgery to recover some eye functioning.