Performance Vision Therapy and Helping Stroke Patients

Nearly 2 out of 3 stroke patients will suffer from vision problems after their stroke. A stroke is when there is a sudden interruption in blood supply to the brain and can lead to many different health issues including death. For many who do survive, they can suffer from various vision ailments and without the proper medical attention, the vision problems can get worse over time. Performance vision therapy, has been a proven rehabilitation form of vision problems after a person suffers from a stroke or other traumatic brain injuries.

A stroke can affect your vision in three main ways: visual field loss, eye movement problems, and visual processing problems. If you have vision loss after a stroke, it can make a lot of daily activities difficult, from performing home tasks, driving, watching television, reading, and more. There is also a link with sight loss to an increased risk of emotional problems, such as depression or anxiety. Sometimes the practical and emotional difficulties that sight loss causes are not apparent in hospital, and you may only become aware of them when you return home. Through help and recovery therapy with trained vision specialists, performance vision therapy is one way to work toward regaining your vision skills.

Visual Field Loss & Visual Field Neglect

What is visual field loss? Your visual field is literally all you can see. This includes your central vision, what you see straight ahead, and your peripheral vision, what you see out to the side. If you are suffering from visual field loss, you will not be able to see a section in your field of vision. While your eyes may be working properly, the brain can’t process the images of the certain area. Visual field loss often occurs where the stroke occurred in the brain and will affect the same side.

Visual field neglect is the inability of the brain to recognize what is there. With visual field loss we can provide coping mechanisms, use lenses to expand the field of view, or magnify the field of view; but we cannot fix it. Visual field neglect can be rehabilitated through vision therapy to reactive the area of the visual system that has been damaged due to the stroke.

Eye Movement Problems

Strokes can lead to problems with fine nerve control and this control is needed when moving your eyes. For example a stroke patient may have impaired eye movements. This may affect their ability to fixate on a target, move their eyes from looking at one object or follow an object with their eyes. This heavily can affect a person’s mobility, balance, and reading ability. Another problem could be the inability to move eyes together. This causes blurred or double vision. Eyes can move constantly or appear to be “wobbling”, which can create the inability to focus on objects. In addition, a patient could suffer from impaired depth perception. For example, you may misjudge taking a step on a stair or mispour a drink into a cup. Day to day life skills can become much more difficult.

Visual Processing Problems

In some cases, vision problems can happen after a stroke due to the brain having difficulties processing information. A person may not be able to recognize colors, objects, shapes or even people. It especially can be hard for a patient to see more than one object or person at a time. This can make activities like driving, watching a movie, visiting with friends, watching a sporting event, nearly impossible to do.

Performance Vision Therapy and How it Can Help

At Vision Source Specialists’ Performance Vision Training Center, our team can help you through the latest technologies rehabilitate your eyes after strokes or other traumatic brain injuries. Through the use of RightEye, a technology that uses advanced eye-tracking software, vision problems can be not only identified but treatment options and plans developed for your specific need. RightEye can diagnosis and help treat issues related to having a stroke such as eye teaming, depth perception, object tracking, and more. Contact us today at the Performance Vision Training Center at Vision Source Specialists to learn more about RightEye and taking the steps to regain your vision after a stroke.