Hemianopia is a decreased vision or blindness (anopsia) in half of the vision field or one or both eyes, usually on one side of the vertical midline.
The most common causes of this damage are stroke, brain tumor, and trauma.
A person with hemianopia may teach himself some handy tricks in order to get a complete picture of everything. He can teach himself to turn the eyes and head so he gets a complete picture of the environment. However, this is not possible in all activities; sometimes help of a person directly involved is the only solution.
Often the term hemianopia is used as a collective name for all types of half-sided loss of field of vision. When a quarter of the field of vision is lost, it is referred quadrantanopia.
Some tips in case of hemianopia
- Make sure that things are in a fixed position so that the person knows where to look (alarm clock, towels, plates, cutlery).
- Learn a search behavior. Teach the person to always search a room or object from the left to the right and from top to bottom and back.
- Have the person scan the entire door jamb with the eyes, so he can estimate how wide it is before walking through the door.
- Learn a fixed sequence of washing: Always start with the affected side and finish with the healthy side. It is wise after washing and dressing to make sure nothing is forgotten. Start with the affected side and finish with the healthy side.