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Mom saw eye doctor this week-long her vision has become really poor. They said it isn't her eyes at all. It's her brain's inability to process what the eyes are seeing. She is on risperidone and it has very common visual side effects- some that she is having. Anyone with any info on this and how to manage it? She has a farm, animals and is very active. Vision is so crucial to quality of life!

My mom had numerous tests completed by a psychologist at the recommendation of her neurologist. One of the test sections was on visual cognitive measurement. She showed as having “visual dementia” meaning her brain isn’t correctly processing what she’s seeing. I’ve noticed issues in her reading clocks, scoreboards, CC on TV, etc. Visual dementia is a part of Alzheimer’s from what I’ve learned.
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EllenSW Jan 13, 2020
Yes! That seems to be exactly what the Drs say is going on with my mom. Do you know of any techniques or ways to help her adapt to her visual deficits?
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One more thought about the farm animals. I wonder if she could “mentor” a student or two from 4-H or FFA (Future Farmers of America). That way, they could help her with the labor and she could feel like she was the person doing the helping. Maybe check with your local schools to see if they could help facilitate something like this. Keeping her and you in my thoughts.
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I found an article that explains how Alzheimer's can cause vision problems:

https://www.visionaware.org/info/for-seniors/health-and-aging/vision-loss-and-the-challenges-of-aging/alzheimer%27s-disease/how-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-disease-affects-vision-and-perception/12345
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Did s/he do a visual field test? Has she had a brain scan to rule out a physical cause?

If the vision loss is due to her medication that is a pretty alarming side effect with a huge impact on her quality of life and I would be asking the prescribing doctor for changes.
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I’m thinking an occupational therapist might have some suggestions for you about how to help her cope with this. Even if your mother will not go, they may be able to give you some suggestions. And if you are fortunate enough to find one that specializes in geriatric patients, so much the better. If not an occupational therapist, perhaps an Activities of Daily Living specialist (ADL Specialist). I’m not 100% certain that ADL Specialists still exist. My mother did this back in the 70’s. She is now an Alzheimer’s patient. I’ve been fortunate in that my folks have always been rule-followers, and what the docs say is gospel. So when the eye doc said there is nothing more they can do with her glasses to make her vision better, she accepted that. Of course I have to remind her of that, but she accepts it each time. So sometimes I’ll read to her. If you struggle to find an Occupational therapist, you might try finding a hospital or care facility based support group. Wishing you the best. It is a difficult journey, but you will find good company and support here.
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My late husband had Lewy body dementia. Although his eyes tested fine more than once he had trouble with his "eyesight".
As his brain was deteriorating it was affecting how he saw things.
Let me use as an example, Have you ever looked for something really hard and found it was sitting right under your nose? In many ways that is how my husband's brain worked. He either couldn't "see" an object because his brain didn't recognize it, or he didn't know what the object was even though he could "see" it so the object was dismissed in his mind. I hope this makes some sense.
He would also complain that his eyes were giving him trouble yet there were times he couldn't see something sitting close by but could recognize a vehicle traveling down the road in front of our house. Oddly, our house sits a couple hundred feet from the road :/
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EllenSW, I am a neuro-optometrist by profession. I specialize in vision rehabilitation for patients with neurological disorders. There are very few of us, but those of us in this field can restore vision loss to Alzheimers and other dementias, strokes, double vision from Parkinsons and other neurodegenerative disorders. For patients who are unable to participate in a full rehabilitation program, there are compensatory treatments as well to maintain visually guided functions.

I agree that you have to ask the doctors what caused the loss of sight. Saying it is cognitive is meaningless. If it is a medication side effect that must be addressed ASAP. The longer her vision degenerates the more difficult it can be to treat successfully. Where there is a problem there is a cause, and that leads to better diagnosis and more effective treatment.

Most optometrists and ophthalmologist don't know how to diagnose much less treat these types of disorders successfully. Go to noravisionrehab.org to find a specialist near you. Not everyone who is a member of NORA is trained or certified in this specialty, so call and ask the doctor about their training and level of certification. Feel free to pm me with questions.
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Thanks cwillie! Yes she had a visual field test. The Dr. was pretty matter of fact that it's not an issue with her eyes. She had a brain CT a few yrs ago which didn't show anything unusual. It would make sense to me that your eyes can be affected the same way your speech and ability to find words can Like there s a disconnect and your brain can't process what your mouth should say or your eyes are seeing.
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Yes, my husband was unable to “see” things that were right in front of him. He couldn’t distinguish. He also lost naming, so saying pick up your fork had no meaning. Later he lost his peripheral vision. Teepa Snow has a good video about tunnel vision. Best wishes, it’s a hard disease.
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Campbec. This is interesting to me because I have been thinking my father has trouble processing what he is seeing, and hearing phone messages and automated answer and response systems.
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