Cardiovascular Disease and Vision

The cardiovascular system is composed of your heart and many blood vessels. This system delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and removes waste. Your heart powers the system.  

Problems with the Cardiovascular System 

Many problems with the cardiovascular system involve the blood vessels, which, when blocked, cannot deliver oxygen or properly remove waste. 

The heart can experience irregular beats (arrhythmia), valve issues, heart failure with inability to pump, or heart attack, which happens when the heart muscle does not get enough blood flow and starts to die. This occurs because of blockages in the blood vessels. 

Blockages in the blood vessels going to the brain can cause a stroke through lack of oxygen or brain bleeding. Among other symptoms, stroke can cause a lack of balance, inability to see, or double vision. 

Other possible blood vessel issues include aneurysm or bulging in an artery. 

All of these issues require treatment and possibly lifestyle changes such as eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising, per your doctor’s advice. 

Loss of Vision After A Stroke 

It is possible to have vision changes as a result of a stroke. You can find out more in our eye condition section on stroke/hemianopsia.  

Practical Self-Help Tips for Living with a Heart Condition or Stroke 

  • When doing chores, plan rest periods between short periods of work.  
  • When cooking, keep a chair or stool near the stove to rest when needed. 
  • Arrange storage facilities so the most frequently used items are within reach. 
  • Simplify cleanup by considering using a minimum of utensils and dishes. 
  • Reduce cleanup time and conserve energy by using oven-to-tableware or serving directly from the pot.  
  • Mixing ingredients directly in a cooking dish eliminates the need to wash extra bowls, dishes, and utensils. 
  • After preparing a meal, organize items that need to be washed.  
  • Use a cart with wheels to bring dishes and pans to the work area and return them to cabinets and storage areas. 
  • Keep duplicates of cleaning supplies in different areas of your home to eliminate unnecessary walking from room to room. 
  • Use a long-handled dustpan to eliminate bending. 
  • Use a carpet sweeper or an electric broom instead of a heavier canister vacuum cleaner. 
  • Use an inexpensive back scratcher as a tool to reach for objects. 
  • Use grab bars in the tub area and next to the toilet. 
  • Use a bathtub bench or shower chair when bathing. 

In Summary 

Strokes can lead to vision changes, underscoring the interconnectedness of bodily systems. Nevertheless, practical self-help tips can assist individuals in managing heart conditions and strokes, enhancing their quality of life, and promoting independence. By implementing these strategies and working closely with healthcare professionals, individuals can navigate the challenges posed by cardiovascular issues more effectively and improve their overall well-being.