Dr. Julie Steinhauer, OD, FCOVD, owner of Vision For LifeGLEN CARBON – Dr. Julie Steinhauer, OD, FCOVD, owner of Vision For Life, and one of a select group of functional vision doctors in the nation, says many individuals who suffer a stroke may not only realize immediate deficits in motor, sensory and cognitive skills, but also in their vision.

Stroke victims are not just elderly but young people as well. According to the National Stroke Association, strokes are on the rise among younger adults, with 15 percent of ischemic strokes occurring in young adults and adolescents. The past ten years have seen a 44 percent increase in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke.

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A stroke victim can suffer from visual field loss. This occurs when an individual experiences damage to any part of their visual pathway, the path that signals travel from the eye to the brain. A normal visual field is the full area of what a person can see surrounding them. Those suffering from a stroke can have their visual field impaired but may not know their sight has been compromised.

“Visual field loss presents itself in many ways. This can include experiencing blurred vision while watching television, frequently walking or bumping into objects, and difficulty with reading,” Steinhauer said.

Steinhauer, as presented in the video Success With Vision Therapy Post Stroke, said treatment for visual field loss after a stroke is often administered as a customized therapy program to help retrain the eye-to-brain connection.

“Syntonics is an effective light therapy often used to stimulate blind sports or blurriness affecting a patient’s visual field. When neurons in the brain are affected from a stroke, light therapy can ‘spark’ the neurons again helping the patient gain back some of their visual field.”

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According to Steinhauer an eye doctor can examine an individuals’ eyes for any signs of trauma, as well as administer a vision field test to identify blind spots in the patient’s peripheral vision. In a majority of cases vision therapy will help a patient regain some or all of their vision loss.

“The eye doctor should be able to properly evaluate and diagnose vision loss in patients, no matter their age. After a thorough diagnosis they should be able to select the best treatment option for the individual. Vision therapy can be helpful in regaining 30 to 80 per cent of a vision loss following a stroke and help the patient return to their normal lifestyle. Timing is also important because the sooner therapy begins after the stroke the better the chances are for greater visual recovery.”

For additional information visit https://visionforlifeworks.com.


Dr. Steinhauer, now in her 19th 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.

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