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Sensory and Vision Problems

Amaurosis Fugax sounds very complicated and medical but it simply means a blood clot becoming lodged in the blood vessel at the back of the eye.  It affects only a very small percentage of stroke patients.  The clot means that the blood cannot get to the back of the eye and some people say it feels like the ‘light is fading and a curtain is being pulled over the eye'.

Often, the blood clot will break up and the eyesight will recover but some people may lose sight in the eye permanently.

Other eyesight problems are fairly common after stroke.  Some people lose part of their eyesight in one or both eyes.  They may only see one part of the plate when eating; or they may only be able to read one side of a written page.  Some people completely ignore all objects or people in one half of their world. 

But the good news is that eyesight problems can sometimes improve in the few weeks after stroke.

Even if your problem doesn't go away there are things that can be done to help you cope with losing some of your sight.  For example, you can place the plate where it can be seen better, or turn the plate.  Ask people to come towards you and stand on your good side.  Most people with strokes learn to turn their heads more to make up for eyesight problems. It may seem a bit simple but it makes a lot of difference.

A few people need to see an eye specialist for a test to see if special glasses can help.

Ask your doctor, physiotherapist or occupational therapist for help if you need it, or, once you've left hospital, your practice nurse or doctor.