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About Vision Loss

About Vision Loss after Brain Injury or Stroke

Vision loss after stroke or traumatic brain injury may include an island like area of visual impairment, (scotoma), visual field loss (hemianopia/quadrantanopia), general blurring, and many other symptoms. This overview about vision loss summarizes what types of vision deficits are common among survivors of stroke and brain injury, and how they can be treated.

Causes of Vision Loss: Stroke and Brain Injury

Vision loss can be caused by a variety of diseases and injuries, including age-related eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. In addition, stroke and traumatic head injuries can produce sudden and dramatic vision loss. There are many types of brain injury–related visual field deficits, and each type affects a person’s life in significant and sometimes devastating ways. NovaVision’s VRT therapy is targeted at the subset of patients who have experienced brain damage and lost some of their visual field as a result.

Vision Loss after Stroke

Vision loss after stroke can range from slight to severe. Vision loss often appears along with other disabilities such as partial paralysis, memory, and speech problems, and a variety of other cognitive, physical, and behavioral changes. Vision problems after a stroke stem from damage to the brain or optic nerve.

Vision Loss after Brain Injury

Any kind of brain injury can cause optic nerve damage and vision changes. Most commonly, people experience vision loss after a brain injury sustained during a traumatic blow to the head, such as in a car accident.

Types of Vision Loss

Following a stroke or a brain injury, damage to the optic nerve and other parts of the brain can result in a visual blind spot, partial vision loss, or one or more types of visual field defects.

Hemianopia (Hemianopsia)

Homonymous Hemianopia, also called hemianopsia, is a common type of vision loss after stroke or brain injury. Homonymous Hemianopia is defined as diminished vision or full vision loss in the left or right half of the visual field of both eyes.

Quadrantanopia (Quadrantanopsia)

Homonymous quadrantanopia (or quadrantanopsia is characterized by low vision or vision loss in one quarter of the visual field of both eyes.


Scotoma is a visual blind spot occurring in any part of the visual field of both eyes. A scotoma can be an area of vision loss (darkness), lightness, blurring, or distortion. When a scotoma is in a person’s peripheral vision, it may have a minimal impact on day-to-day functioning; however, a visual blind spot in the center of the visual field (paracentral scotoma) can be debilitating.

Diffuse Visual Field Defects

Neurological vision loss can also present itself generally blurred vision, scattered areas of darkness and other problems affecting sight.

Learn More about Areas of Visual Impairment and Treatment for Vision Loss

To learn more about the types of vision loss common after stroke or brain injury, as well as treatment options, please contact NovaVision by email, or call NovaVision Patient Services toll-free at 1.888.205.0800.