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Recognizing the Connection Between Stroke and Vision Loss During Stroke Awareness Month

The goal of National Stroke Awareness Month, recognized each May in the U.S., is to increase public awareness of stroke and how Americans may be able to “’Save a Life’” of a person who is experiencing this medical event. According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 65 percent of stroke survivors may have vision problems. These difficulties can affect visual field, such as homonymous hemianopia, which involves the loss of vision in the right or left half of the visual field in both eyes. The neurological impact of stroke can cause visual challenges as well. For example, neglect, or spatial inattention, can cause people to be unaware of and unresponsive to objects on the “stroke-affected side.” Visual changes that occur after a stroke may be permanent or can improve over time. To manage changes, those affected can be evaluated by eye doctors (ophthalmologists and optometrists), neurologists, and neuro-ophthalmologists and neuro-optometrists. These specialists can develop a treatment plan, which may involve rehabilitative therapies that can help survivors regain as much function as possible. Information about the monthly observance is available from WhatHealth’s piece on Stroke Awareness Month – May 2022. For more details on vision issues, read the Johns Hopkins Medicine Wilmer Eye Institute article on Stroke-Related Vision  Loss and the American Stroke Association fact sheet entitled Let’s Talk About Stroke and Vision Changes.