Current estimates suggest that between 37 and 66 per cent of stroke survivors experience difficulties with their vision. Most often this will be the loss of sight in one side of the visual field, but other problems can include the total loss of sight and blurred or double vision. But despite vision problems being common, we do not have clear guidelines for how they should be recognised and treated after stroke.
Post-stroke vision deficits can be hard to identify, especially in people who also have communication or cognitive problems because of their stroke. Rehabilitation therapies can help stroke survivors adapt to a partial loss of vision but these therapies are not yet embedded in current stroke rehabilitation services.
In order to enhance post-stroke vision services in the UK, we are gathering robust evidence on the prevalence of vision problems after stroke and on the current services provided within the NHS. By reviewing the existing literature and interviewing healthcare professionals and stroke survivors we will gather evidence on:
• The prevalence of post-stroke vision problems
• Existing vision services for people who have had a stroke
• Examples of best practice in identifying, referring and treating post-stroke vision problems
• The level of unmet need surrounding vision and stroke.
This research project will provide a solid evidence base for us to champion for improvements in services. We will use the research to raise awareness of stroke and vision and to inform future research and policy developments at the Stroke Association.
This research was commissioned in collaboration with the Thomas Pocklington Trust for sight loss.