Stroke related eye conditions

Understanding sight loss related to stroke

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Stroke is one of the most common causes of adult disability. Every year an estimated 152,000 strokes occur in the UK and about half of survivors will have a disability.

Your ability to see involves your brain as well as your eyes so stroke related vision problems can be very complex to understand and treat.

Some of the main visual problems include visual field loss, eye muscles and nerve problems, including double vision and visual processing – making sense of the things you are seeing.

We’ve created a comprehensive guide to the most common eye conditions related to stroke that you can download. We also offer support for coping with the conditions and are here if you need to talk to us.

Understanding sight loss related to stroke

Sight problems are more common when you suffer a stroke affecting the right side of your brain.

The damage caused by a stroke in your brain impacts the visual pathways of your eye which can result in visual field loss including central vision blurry vision, double vision and processing of visual information.

Unfortunately for many people sight loss may be permanent but there are ways of coping with each condition.

Download our guide to sight loss related to stroke

Our guide has been written to give you a detailed understanding of stroke related sight loss and helpful advice on next steps.

 

Types of sight loss caused by stroke

You can get a more in-depth look at the eye conditions related to stroke in our downloadable factsheet.

Field loss: Hemianopia

This type of field loss refers to not being able to see to either the left or right from the centre of your field of vision in both your eyes. The extent of field loss can vary and is directly related to the area of your brain that has been affected by the stroke.

Eye muscles and nerve problems: Diplopia

A stroke can lead to problems with eye movements resulting in both eyes not working together as a pair. This can make it difficult to focus on specific things because of blurred vision as well as diplopia ( double vision).

Vision processing

This is when you may be able to see an object clearly but the images are not processed by your brain correctly. It can lead to people ignoring objects that are there or being unable to interpret text when reading.

 

 

Treatment

There are various treatments that can be tried  to help you cope with the visual effects of stroke, including:

  • Glasses
  • Prisms
  • Patching
  • Magnifiers
  • Scanning techniques

If your vision has been affected by a stroke you may need to speak to different eye care professionals including an ophthalmologist (hospital eye doctor), orthoptist (specialist in eye muscles and movement), optometrist (optician) and professionals in Low Vision. They can advise and provide visual training with or without the use of optical aids.

Further information on these various treatments can be found in our Stroke related eye conditions download guide.

Support

 

 

Knowing RNIB is there is so reassuring, like a comfort blanket.

Peter Seaman

You can get support with your eye condition with RNIB

 

Recently Diagnosed

Trying to adjust after a diagnosis of sight loss can seem overwhelming at first and it might involve some changes to your life.

We’re here to support you every step of the way, and to answer any questions you may have about your sight loss or day-to-day living.

Talk to our eye health team

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If you've got any questions speak to us by emailing the eye health team or calling 0303 123 9999

Living confidently 

Living with sight loss shouldn’t mean an end to doing most of the things you like to do.

We will help you maximise your vision and make the most of the sight that you have.

If you haven’t already now would be a good time to join RNIB Connect, our connected community of everyone affected by sight loss.

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Helpful organisations

Moorfields Eye Hospital is one of the world's largest centres for eye care and research

NHS Direct is the website for the NHS Direct health advice services, with information and advice about stroke related slight loss

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