What is split vision during a stroke?

Split vision has no specific meaning neurologically. If someone were to report a symptom of split vision, it might indicate either hemianopia or diplopia. Hemianopia, which is a blindness in one half of the visual field of one or both eyes, occurs when there is damage to the visual processing center of the brain on one side, which might cause loss of vision to both eyes on either the right or the left side. Diplopia refers to double vision, which occurs when the eyes do not properly align themselves. Each of these symptoms may be caused by a stroke, but they have many other causes as well.

Your eyes perceive a picture and then send the signals to the back of the brain to the vision centers. There, the picture is analyzed for colors, dimensions and movement. If you have a stroke that has affected the pathways between the eye and the vision centers in the brain, it may cause partial vision in one eye or another. You could also go completely blind or experience double vision. These are all signs of stroke.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Strokes can cause many different symptoms, including slurred speech or difficulty walking. Experiencing “split vision” in each eye—a lesser known symptom—can also occur. In this case, you have only half a field of vision in each eye. For instance, if you were looking at a stop sign, you may only see the O and the P, while the S and T remain invisible.

This occurrence may last for only several minutes until vision is restored, but it still indicates that the visual cortex in the back of the brain has been impacted by loss of blood flow. A CT scan or MRI would reveal that this part of the brain controlling your vision experienced a cutoff in its blood supply. Mini strokes may present themselves this way and are often a precursor to a major stroke.

This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Stroke Warning Signs & Symptoms

Stroke Awareness and Timely Action
Stroke Awareness and Timely Action
Roberto De Vicenzo signed an incorrect scorecard at the 1968 Masters (the Argentinian’s score on the 17th hole was three, not four). He overlooked tha...
Read More
Besides sudden symptoms, do strokes have other early warning signals?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
An estimated 10 percent of all strokes are preceded by a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is a...
More Answers
What does my calf size say about my risk of stroke?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Skinny calves may increase your risk of suffering from a stroke. French researchers have discovered ...
More Answers
How Do I Know If Someone Is Having a Stroke?
How Do I Know If Someone Is Having a Stroke?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.