Visual field defects

Hello everyone

I know quite a few of you have had strokes due to APS. As a result of these strokes has your visual fields been impacted? You might not realise until you do a visual fields test at your optometrist. I've been impacted and I'm curious if anyone else has. ?? I have a tendency to "bump into things" which can be a symptom. Thanks, Carmen in Australia

16 Replies

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  • Hi there, yes others on her have had this, I enclose this article for you with useful information: strokesmart.org/new?id=237 It is crucial that you have a Hughes Syndrome/APS specialist managing your anticoagulation also. MaryF

  • I to have been loosing my visual field. Odd thing is vision will b ok and 3 minutes later ites different. I have also lost other vision and often have double, blurry, dark vision. Not counting the visual disturbances. So you are not alone in this issue. Good luck and take care of urself.

  • Hi- when I had my stroke I lost my central peripheral vision for 6-8 weeks. I was told this would not return to normal but would not accept it. I found as many brain tests as I could do and also the visual field tests that you can do online and practised them daily. This can help your brain to remap and make other parts of the brain learn to do the job of the damaged areas. When I went back to see my Opthalmologist he was stunned and couldn't believe how much I'd improved. Even now when I do things that challenge me I can feel my brain being challenged, it's a sort of buzzing feeling difficult to discribe. I'd advise you to push yourself as soon as you can after your stroke to get your brain to start remapping. It's amazing what it can do.

  • Of course you would do that!!!! MaryF xxx

  • 4 of my 6 strokes were in my occipital lobe in my vision center, I have almost no visual field. Since the second stroke I have been legally blind with a 6 degree field in my left eye and an 8 degree field in my right (approximately). My last stroke was 9 years ago now, and I have "adjusted" to the vision. I walk with a long (white) cane, and wear tinted lenses to give me some vision during the day, as I am also photophobic now. Is yours a field cut on one side, causing neglect? Frequently neglect issues will clear up with time. Does the area you don't see just "not exist"? (It's not a black hole type thing, your brain thinks you are seeing the "full picture".

  • Visual field defects can be an indication of either a venous or arterial blockage or complete occlusion-but, they can also be due to migraine headaches, as well as other non vascular problems. If the defect was caused by a total occlusion it is not likely that there is enough "neuroplasticity" to regenerate (remap) a badly damaged area of the visual cortex (brain area). If it is due to a temporary blockage or a migraine it is transient and the field defect disappears. Yes, those of us with APS are prone to these types of things...I have experienced it personally. VERY important to maintain your therapeutic INR and get a visual field performed if you experience the defects. I too bump into things and don't see varying objects from time to time...and it moves around. I have been thoroughly worked up with cerebral and carotid CT-A as well as cardiac ultrasound to r/o any structural problems as well as brain MRI to look for areas that might have been occluded and damaged by an infarct-all completely normal. There is no question that it occurs....I have taught both neuroanatomy and visual fields testing...so i understand and do not "imagine" these things...but other physicians just say "normal" and send me on my way....

  • I must say you have got very good answers on your question!

    I have also had several neurological symptoms from my brain and eyes. Practically gone after proper anticoagulation. I found "Sticky Blood Explained" by Kay Thackray very good as she had the same symptoms with her vision like I had.

    As rhmmsg says: " Very important to maintain your therapeutic INR". I totally agree!

    Best wishes from Kerstin in Stockholm

  • Yes, my stroke damage was in my visual field. In fact, it was my excellent opthamologist who ordered my first - results subsequently " lost"-- cardiolipinantibody test. I wear a 2nd pair of glasses as the location of the visual field hole makes it hard to read accurately with bifocals. But my good news is that subsequent visual field tests have revealed that my " hole" has shrunk ever since I was prescribed warfarin in 2001.

  • Wow! Thank you everyone, some great answers and advice. APsnotFab your storey is inspirational!I I'm going to give the exercises a go & try to rewire my brain. I feel very blessed in some ways because compared to you guys I feel I have come off lightly with my APS symptoms. I admire you all for how you have coped. Thank you again.

    Carmen

  • It cant hurt can it and even small improvements will give you the confidence to keep going.

  • I also run into things as my depth of field vision has been effected. As well as things like putting something on the counter and missing the counter and the item falls, or I barley get it about half way on. I have a hard time determining distance. I get nervous when someone else is driving because I always feel they are to close to the car in front of us. I drive, but as I tell my dr.s I drive judiciously. Meaning if I do not feel righ or my vision is particularly bad one day I don't drive. When I do I use road markings to know for sure how far I am from other cars on the road as well as follow the markings to keep myself in my lane. I am tryn to teach myself to not set anything onto a table or counter until I can fill it with my hands that way I don't drop my favorite coffee cup, and other items on the floor. You may try some of the thiings I mentioned they really help me navigate my world. Good luck. I hope that your vision problems stop getting worse, mine continue to decrease. After seeing specialist in the field of vision its been determined that my eyes work fine. Its just the messages as to what I am seeing get mixed up in my brain. Good luck!

  • Yes I can totally relate to this. I lost my driving licence for a year and had to redo my test including the visual field test which I passed 100%. Even so I only drive on good days, when there is enough good light and avoid night time driving. I don't have to but feel better doing so. My co-ordination is still affected especially when walking outside, balance can be an issue because the cerebellum was also affected by the stroke. I find if I walk over a dark area or mat I cant judge it and feel like Im falling. Im also overwhelmed sometimes outside and that was the biggest thing for me to overcome after my stroke, may be the noise and all the stimuli is too much for the brain to cope with. As you so correctly say, my eyes are fine, its the messages that the eyes send to the brain that sometimes don't quite work out or should I say what the brain does with them!

  • Yes I'm more careful on the road now. According to my visual field test my left eye was not good however I'm now wondering if it was just bad on day of testing. Sounds like it can be transient. I had a brain scan on Monday, we can see if any changes from 2012 one. If not I will redo the visual fields. My ophthalmologist knows about APS which is good.

  • Hi,

    I have experienced a few TIA's and a minor stroke in my occipital lobe. This affected my peripheral vision and was picked up on a visual field test. It improved hugely after about 4 months but there still a small deficit but not enough it affects me. It also affected my ability to recognise things which was unpleasant for a while.

    I also get migraines with aura and the aura can last up to a week which also affects my vision. I find I can no longer drive in darkness and can occasionally struggle with spacial awareness.

  • Hi tinythepanda

    I think I'm very similar to you although I have maybe 100 mini strokes over 15 yrs. (took me a long time to get diagnosed. How did you improve your deficit after 4 months??

    Thanks

  • Hi,

    My peripheral vision just came back on its own over time. There are some defecits that are still picked up on visual field testing but not enough where it causes me any problems.