Eye Stroke - Signs and Symptoms - Oren Zarif - Eye Stroke
If you have blurred vision or total loss of vision, you may have suffered from Eye Stroke. Getting checked by an ophthalmologist immediately is crucial in saving your sight. The retina of the eye may become thin or mottled with pigment. The signs of a stroke can take weeks or months to show, but early diagnosis can save your sight. The Emergency Departments at several Mount Sinai hospitals are equipped to diagnose Eye Stroke quickly.
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Medical treatment for eye stroke depends on the type of eye problem. Some treatments include medications that act as neuro-protectors. These drugs have not been proven to have a beneficial effect. Other treatment focuses on controlling cardiovascular risk factors. A patient may require a combination of these treatments. The goal of treatment is to save vision, not just to treat the symptoms. Some people may experience symptoms of Eye Stroke but will still have their vision.
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Drug treatment for eye stroke is usually straightforward. The doctor will administer a drug that breaks up the clot and lowers pressure in the eye. A drug called acetazolamide (Diamox) may also be prescribed. Other medical issues, such as diabetes, can increase the risk of eye stroke. Patients with high blood pressure and cholesterol should see their doctor on a regular basis. After the treatment, a patient may continue to experience the symptoms of eye stroke for up to a year.
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Symptoms of eye stroke include sudden vision loss, distorted or blurred vision, and decreased or impaired vision. Most people will experience blurred vision in one eye after experiencing eye stroke and it will worsen over time. It is important to seek immediate medical care, as the symptoms of Eye Stroke may be caused by other eye conditions. A doctor will be able to perform a CT scan of the eye to diagnose the cause.
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The signs and symptoms of an eye stroke are similar to those of a stroke in a patient's brain. The most common sign is a sudden loss of vision in one eye. Patients often have no pain, but other symptoms may include a shadow or dark area in their vision. Loss of visual contrast and light sensitivity may also occur. If caught in time, a stroke may be reversible or only temporarily impaired.
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Some heart disease risk factors are associated with an increased risk of eye strokes. High cholesterol was the leading risk factor, with 64 percent of victims having a new risk of heart disease. Whether or not the stroke is a warning sign of a future brain stroke, treatment options and the outcome of the patient's recovery are all factors that affect the long-term outcome of the individual. Eye stroke survivors usually lose vision in the affected eye, but if caught early enough, the loss can be reduced or even reversed.
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If the clot has already entered the retina, doctors will likely administer a medication called tissue plasminogen activator, or TPA. This medication is designed to open blocked arteries and restore blood flow to the retina. Unfortunately, it is not widely available, so treatment is only recommended when time is of the essence. A physician must be able to diagnose and treat eye stroke in a timely manner. But the sooner treatment begins, the better.
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The diagnosis of eye stroke is most likely to occur during an eye exam. A doctor will use imaging devices and specialized tools to take a clear image of the inside of the eye, as well as any signs of swelling in the retina. Some doctors perform optical coherence tomography (OCT), a diagnostic test that can detect swollen blood vessels in the retina. Other tests such as fluorescein angiography highlight blood vessel damage in the retina.
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Damage to eye nerves will cause visual processing problems, including blurred or double vision. In addition, eye muscle weakness may result in difficulties following or tracking objects. People with a stroke may also experience problems focusing or shifting vision quickly. Using special eye shields or tinted glasses can help ease discomfort. If you don't have any of these options, a yellow transparent plastic sheet will help block glare. And if you're not able to wear eyewear, you should be aware of other potential symptoms, including eye problems.
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As with any other health condition, there are ways to prevent an eye stroke. Blood glucose levels must remain within the proper range. Blood pressure monitoring is also essential. By lowering blood pressure, patients can reduce their risk of an eye stroke. In addition to these medical measures, some simple lifestyle modifications can significantly reduce the risk of a stroke. Increasing your intake of heart-healthy foods and engaging in regular physical activity, people can lower their cholesterol levels and lower their risk of retinal artery occlusion.