Vision Recovery Following Stroke

NeuroRehab Team
Thursday, March 17th, 2016


Approximately 30% of all stroke patients suffer from post-stroke visual impairment (Sand KM. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 2013). Following a stroke or other neurological injuries, various types of vision deficits can occur including the inability to recognize objects, color vision deficits and difficulty with perceiving various types of motion. Approximately 20% experience permanent visual deficits (Romano JG. J of Neurol Sci. 2008). According to the National Stroke Association homonymous hemianopia, which is the loss of one half of the visual field in each eye, is the most common visual disorder.

Someone with homonymous hemianopia may describe it as being unable to see out of one eye, but in fact, the visual field on one side of both eyes is affected. In addition, some visually impaired patients may be unaware that they cannot see to one side. This condition is called visual neglect or visual inattention. Hemispatial visual neglect affects up to two thirds of right hemisphere stroke patients acutely (Robertson IH et al. Psychology Press, 1999).


Listed below are some of the common interventions supported by research that have shown positive results.


Vision Recovery Research Findings


  • Computer-based scanning therapy, such as Visual Motor Training and Virtual Reality/Exercise Games can improve visual neglect.
  • Wearing Visual Aids, like Prisms, may improve functional performance with every-day tasks. Prisms can be used to reduce the apparent visual field loss by shifting visual stimuli from the blind field into the patient’s seeing field. These prisms are fitted to glasses but need to be restricted to just one half of each of the lenses (typically on the side of the blind field).
  • Visual scanning techniques can improve visual neglect with associated improvements in function.
  • Compensatory training (adapting to the vision loss) can significantly improve search performance and efficiency.


Search Vision Recovery Products


Most people who have vision loss after a stroke do not fully recover their vision. However some recovery is possible. Treatment and outcomes will depend on the type of vision impairment and its cause. Health professionals, along with neurologists and occupational therapists can advise on the best treatment for you.


Looking For A Vision Specialist?


Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA) is diverse group of professionals dedicated to advancing the art and science of rehabilitation of the neurologically and cognitively injured and disabled survivor population and their families. NORA members are professionals who recognize the crucial role of vision in human performance. NORA emphasizes treatment modalities designed to optimize the frequently neglected visual-motor, visual-perceptual and visual information processing dysfunction in the neurologically affected person.

There exists, within the profession of optometry, a group of concerned and highly trained professionals uniquely skilled and experienced in the technologies of neuro-optometric rehabilitation/habilitation of the persons affected. Integration of these unique Neuro-Optometric treatment modalities maximizes the potential of the rehabilitation team within a multidisciplinary approach.


Find a Neuro-Optometrists



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