Stroke which is also known as “brain attack” or “cerebral vascular accident” is a situation whereby the brain cells are being deprived of oxygen. It could either be hemorrhagic or ischemic. Hemorrhagic type occur when there are bleeding from damage brain blood vessels while ischemic occur from shortage of blood flow to the brain. Since it is the blood that carries the oxygen, any shortage of the required amount of blood leads to shortage of oxygen (Cruz-Flores). The effects of these problems with the blood supply are dependent on the affected side. The part of the brain that is deprived has its functions affected. Few of the effects include; the paralysis of the limbs, mental functioning, and vision (Medicine.net). Stroke effects on the eyesight range from mild to complex conditions.
Signs and symptoms
Visual pathway is the part of vision affected mostly by stroke (Richard Windsor & Laura Windsor). This leads to signs and symptoms such as; loss of visual fields (Hemianopia), diplopia, double vision, impaired eye movements, vertigo, dizziness, and problems with saccades or pursuits eye movements. Some effects could be gradual while some could be rapid depending on the nature of the damage caused by the stroke.
Understanding the interaction between low vision and stroke is very important to make a diagnosis. Early evaluation of the problems is the key to effective management of the patient's condition (RNIB). A history of other associated effects of stroke such as paralysis or speech affectation helps in making a diagnosis.
Managing such individual will be dependent on a clinical teamwork approach. Orthoptists, low vision therapist, physicians all plays important role in the management. Provision of glasses, prisms, magnifiers help provides compensatory effects (RNIB). The patient is also taught on scanning information techniques to help in their road to recovery. Full recovery is not possible in all cases but there is certain level of improvement that could be experienced.
Visual effects secondary to stroke is a common problem in the society. Early evaluation and diagnosis are very important simply because it help prevent worsening of the effects. It also helps in managing the established effects properly.
Benjamin Wedro & William Shiel. "Stroke". Medicine.net. Web. 20 February, 2012.
Cruz-Flores. "Ischemic Stroke in Emergency Medicine". Medscape reference. emedicine. Web. 20 February, 2012.
RNIB. "Stroke related eye conditions". Supporting blind and partially sighted people. 17 May, 2011. 20 February, 2012.
Richard Windsor & Laura Windsor. “Common vision problems from stroke or traumatic brain injury. eyeassociates. 19 February.