Hemianopsia

Hemianopsia: Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Hemianopsia is a term that describes a loss of vision that affects half of the visual field of one eye or both eyes. HemianopsiaConditions or injuries that affect the optic nerve can cause hemianopsia. The sequelae (aftereffects) of stroke, brain aneurysm, occlusion of the optic artery, brain tumors, or traumatic head injuries can all result in hemianopsia. Occasionally, individuals who suffer from migraine headaches may experience this during a migrainous episode or as part of the prodromal aura that precedes the actual headache; this type of hemianopsia resolves completely upon resolution of the headache. Transient hemianopsia can result from bouts of extremely high blood pressure or during or after a seizure. Other rare causes of hemianopsia include infections, such as encephalitis, brain abscess, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The most common defect, right homonymous hemianopsia, occurs in corresponding halves of the right field of vision. It can also occur in corresponding halves of the left field of vision, in the upper half of the field (superior hemianopsia), the lower half (inferior hemianopsia), or both outer halves of the field. In this, half of the field is blanked out on both eyes. Recovery of vision after stroke or head injury is usually maximal within the first three to six months; this persisting after that point is usually permanent. Symptoms: Symptoms of this involve the inability to see objects in half of the visual field of one or both eyes, which may be manifested by reading difficulties, problems walking through crowded areas, frequent accidents (bumping into objects that are located in the lost visual field), or being startled at what seems to be the sudden emergence of people or objects in the visual field. Diagnosis: Diagnosis is usually evident when basic testing reveals a blind area in half of the visual field of one or both eyes. Further testing will be necessary to uncover the underlying causative condition: CT or MRI scanning may reveal the presence of a stroke, aneurysm, or brain tumor. Treatment: Treatment team involve: Neurologists, ophthalmologists, and neuroophthalmologists all work with patients with this. Occupational therapists and vision rehabilitation specialists can be integral in teaching the individual how to compensate for their vision loss. Treatment includes therapy to practice techniques that may help an individual overcome the obstacles of this. For example, changing reading techniques (looking at the last part of the word, rather than the first) may improve an individual's ability to read and enjoy reading. Special scanning techniques may be taught, using a machine called a Dynavision, which will help an individual learn how to turn the head in certain ways to scan the environment and compensate for the lost visual field. Special glasses lenses, some with mirrors or prisms incorporated, may allow an individual with hemianopsia to view a greater visual field. NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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