ST. LOUIS, MO â€“ January 17, 2023 â€“ Dr. Julie Steinhauer, OD, FCOVD, owner of Vision For Life and Success in Glen Carbon, and one of a select group of functional vision doctors in the nation, says all or part of oneâ€™s vision can potentially be restored after a stroke.
An individualâ€™s normal field of vision can be compromised by a stroke, according to Dr. Steinhauer. Visual processing which occurs on the occipital, temporal and parietal lobes of the brain can be impacted. The severity of the visual field loss is determined based on the location and extent of the brain injury.
Symptoms of a post-stroke visual loss can include walking or bumping into objects, blurred vision while watching television, difficulties scanning or reading a page, or visual neglect where the patient is unable to react to stimuli on the right or left.
As detailed in her YouTube video, Can Vision Loss Post Stroke Be Corrected?, Dr. Steinhauer said the most common symptom of visual processing after a stroke is blurriness or a blind spot.
â€œIn many cases the individual may not even be aware a change in their visual field has occurred. Itâ€™s important for the stroke victim to talk to their loved ones and setup an evaluation with an eye care professional as soon as possible,â€ said Dr. Steinhauer. â€œThe longer one waits the greater possibility of increased vision loss.â€
After a stroke with vision loss, most patients will have had a specialized visual field test ran to determine the severity of vision loss. For many, this test will reveal what is called a Homonymous Hemianopsia where one half of their vision is missing for each eye.
â€œFor example a stroke in the left side of the brain causes a Right Homonymous Hemianopsia where the right side of vision goes missing,â€ added Dr. Steinhauer. â€œShould the evaluation reveal a loss in the visual field, a customized therapy program specifically designed to restore the visual field can be created to help turn on the damaged visual pathway in the brain and recover vision.â€
Dr. Steinhauer added a stroke can damage the visual pathway and syntonics, or light therapy, can stimulate blind spots or blurriness that may have occurred. â€œIt works well on patients of all ages. The colored lights impact the neurons in the brain. Together, with the customized therapy program, it can help restore as much of the visual field as possible.â€
â€œIn most cases, depending on the stroke and its severity, our uniquely designed visual field restoration therapy program can help a patient not only regain some of their normal field loss but, in some cases, all of it.â€
She emphasized it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible post-stroke, although patients can recover some vision a year or more later. Optimally, people should seek treatment within the first 6 months after a stroke.
To learn more and schedule an online consultation visit https://visionforlifeworks.com.
ABOUT DR. JULIE STEINHAUER
Dr. Steinhauer, now in her 22nd year of practice, is a developmental optometrist specializing in vision related learning problems, sports vision, and rehabilitative optometry. She is board certified in vision development as a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Dr. Steinhauer is a member of the Illinois Optometric Association, American Optometric Association, College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Optometric Extension Program, the College of Syntonic Optometry, and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association. https;//visionforlifeworks.com