Can a stroke lead to blindness?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My father-in law is 76years old on 27th November 2012 he work up and was not able to see. after a CT Scan it was learned he had a stroke. He is not able to see anything now and he keeps complaining about headaches. Do you think he would regain his sight. He is so depressed.

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

So sorry to hear about your father's difficulty. Many stroke patients experience some vision loss, while others experience complete blindness. The extent of the vision loss depends on the amount and location of brain damage from the stroke.

What I would suggest is that he work closely with an occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy. Perhaps they can help him use different parts of his brain to improve his vision. He should also see an opthalmologist for a full evaluation as well.

Regarding the depression, strokes commonly cause depression due to the changes they create in the brain, as well as their devastating effects. Perhaps he will need to see a mental health professional for either psychotherapy or antidepressants.

Good luck!