Why is it important to address vision after a stroke or brain injury?
The visual system is our primary means of learning and obtaining information about our environment. A stroke or traumatic brain injury frequently alters the brain’s ability to process normal visual input and greatly limits recovery. Individuals with visual impairment from stroke or brain injury can have difficulty completing vision dependent activities, such as reading or computer use.
Often times, people will avoid busy or stimulating environments, such as malls, grocery stores, or sports activities. If left unaddressed, visual impairment can also lead to social isolation and poor adjustment. The good news is, there are treatments that can maximize visual function following stroke or brain injury.
We also work with clients with visual deficits from other neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis.
What are common visual symptoms following stroke or brain injury?
- Double or blurry vision
- Visual field loss
- Visual neglect
- Visual perceptual problems
- Eye/ limb incoordination
- Light sensitivity
What visual behaviors might you notice following a stroke or brain injury?
- Reading difficulty or avoidance
- Squinting, keeping one eye closed
- Knocking items over when reaching for them
- Reduced concentration and memory
- Bumping into things in the environment
- Ignoring or missing items on one side
- Getting “lost” easily, having difficulty finding the correct route
How can we help?
We provide interventions to maximize visual function. Following a personal evaluation, we establish goals together with the client and family. We teach visual skills for reading, self-care, leisure, and community activities. This may include visual scanning and compensation skills for visual neglect and visual field loss or techniques to decrease double vision. We also provide education on activity and environment modification for efficient and safe task completion.