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Understanding Vision Loss From Strokes

Between 30-60% of stroke victims have accompanying vision loss. Vision loss due to strokes is broken down into three categories.

  • Loss of side vision or peripheral vision called Hemianopia.
  • Vision Perception Problems such as Binocular vision issues due to nerve or muscle damage causing double vision (Diplopia), Blurry vision, random eye movements and difficulty focusing.
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Visual Field Loss:

The most common type of stroke related vision loss is the loss of part of the patient’s visual field. Usually the patient will lose the same side in both eyes, called homonymous hemianopsia, such as vision loss of the right or of the left side of the visual field in both eyes. People with side vision loss from a stroke will find it difficult to move around without bumping into things and have difficulty seeing the beginning or ending of a sentence when reading, sometimes the loss of peripheral vision will come with visual hallucinations. In most cases the loss of peripheral vision is addressed with Side Vision Awareness glasses, custom made prisms that allow for compensating areas of vision that are weaker.

Vision Perception Problems:

In some cases a stroke can lead to loss of sight because of an issue that is not directly affecting the eye itself. The eyes either do not work well together or are not communicating effectively with the brain as a result of the stroke, this causes symptoms such as double vision and blurry vision. Our low vision optometrist will assess the cause of these symptoms and offer the best solution for your particular situation. Commonly a mixture of vision therapy and prisms are used to address the underlying cause of vision loss.

Common vision perception problems include:

  • Uncontrollable eye movements, such as Nystagmus
  • Diplopia/double vision/blurred vision due to binocular vision issues
  • Problems with contrast
  • Issues with tracking objects making walking more difficult
  • Impaired depth perception

Doctor photoOur Low Vision Optometrist

Dr. Shaun Golemba is a member of the International Academy Of Low Vision Specialists, the leading organization for low vision optometrists. Dr. Golemba helps patients from all over British Columbia as well as Calgary and Edmonton Alberta. His passion for low vision optometry grows every year as he receives feedback from his patients and their loved ones on how he has helped changed their lives. Dr. Golemba notes “the innovation is incredible, what may have left someone incapable of getting around on their own, just a few years ago, can now be corrected with high technology low vision telescope glasses and devices.”

Our Low Vision Optometrist Talks About Side Vision Awareness Glasses

One thing that happens sometimes when a person has a stroke is they’ll actually have side vision loss and that is called Hemianopia. One-half of the person’s vision can be missing. It’s either on the right-hand side or left-hand side. Dr. Shaun Golemba’s colleague, Dr. Rummel invented the Side Vision Awareness glasses for people who have side vision problem. These glasses looks like a regular glasses that have prisms cemented on both side of the glasses that functions like a side mirror in a car that collects information from the non-seeing area and shifts it over into the seeing area by simply shifting the eye over to the prism side of the glasses.

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    Around 60% of stroke survivors experience some form of visual problem, ranging from dry eye, photophobia, or visual processing dysfunction, to total vision loss.  Learn why vision is affected and how it can be treated using neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.