What is hemianopia?

Hemianopia is an eye condition related to stroke that effects your field vision.

Hemianopia can cause the loss of one half of your visual field. This may mean that you’re not able to see to either the left or right from the centre of your field of vision in both eyes. If you have a stroke on one side of your brain, you may develop field loss on the opposite side. The extent of field loss can vary and depends on the area of your brain that has been affected by the stroke. It is directly related to the area of your brain that has been affected by the stroke.

If hemianopia occurs in the right half of each eye, it's called right homonymous hemianopia and if it occurs in the left visual field, it's called left homonymous hemianopia.

Sometimes with hemianopia you may not be aware that you're not able to see from a part of your field. You can be taught scanning techniques (eye movement patterns) in the direction of the hemianopia in order to compensate.

Optical aids may also be used to help increase your field of view and must be fitted by an eye care professional. This may be in the form of prisms, small mirrors that can be attached to spectacles.

These techniques can't help bring back any field that you've lost, but may help you get the most of the field of vision you have. They don't work for everyone and training is needed to make sure you can use these techniques safely.

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