Occipital Stroke: What You Should Know

What Is Occipital Stroke?

Occipital stroke is a type of brain injury that occurs when the front part of your brain (the frontal lobe) gets injured. The frontal lobe controls your thinking, planning, problem solving, language skills and many other functions. This area is responsible for higher order thought processes such as reasoning, planning and problem solving. When the frontal lobes are damaged it leads to problems with attention span and memory. This can lead to difficulties in learning new things or remembering what you have learned. These problems may cause you to forget details, make decisions based on emotion rather than reason, or even lose interest in activities that were once enjoyable.

The frontal lobe is located at the top of your head and extends from behind your eyes down through your forehead. It is made up of three parts: the left hemisphere, which controls your right side; the middle and right hemispheres, which control your left and right sides respectively; and the back part, which contains all of your executive functions.

How Does Occipital Stroke Affect Your Brain?

When a person suffers from occipital stroke their frontal lobe is damaged. This causes them to have difficulty focusing on tasks or concentrating on anything. Their ability to reason is also compromised because they might be unable to access past experiences or lessons learned to make decisions about the future. Their short-term memory is usually affected as well, which means that they may find it difficult to remember things that happened recently. They may also not recall information that they should know by heart like the alphabet or multiplication tables.

The frontal lobe also has an effect on your personality. A person who suffers from a frontal lobe injury usually has changes in their behavior. You may find that they become very confused, anxious, disorganized and have problems with judgment. They may become withdrawn and uncooperative and may display destructive or disruptive behavior.

What Are The Symptoms Of Occipital Stroke?

The symptoms of occipital stroke are different for each person. The symptoms will range in their severity depending on the size and location of the brain damage. The most common occipital stroke symptoms are:

Vision problems

Vision changes

Blindness in one or both eyes

Loss of depth perception

Loss of peripheral vision on one or both sides of the visual field

Loss of color perception

Double vision

Sensitivity to light

Poor coordination and balance problems leading to clumsiness or stumbling Impaired speech abilities, leading to slurred or garbled speech

What Should I Do If Someone Is Suffering From Occipital Stroke?

If you believe that someone is suffering from occipital stroke then you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. To help the person recover and limit the long-term effects of their brain injury, it is important to begin treatment as quickly as possible. Early treatment can also help reduce the chance of death.

How Is Occipital Stroke Treated?

The treatment plan for someone suffering from occipital stroke will be different for everyone. This is because each person’s brain injury is unique. The medical team will work with you or the person themselves to create a personalized treatment plan. The plan will focus on treatment goals. These goals will be based on the symptoms and how they are affecting the person’s life.

What Treatments Are Available For Occipital Stroke?

The main types of treatment for occipital stroke are medication, physical therapy and surgery. Medication can help with headaches, seizures, depression and other conditions that may occur after a brain injury. Physical therapy can be used to help with mobility issues stemming from the brain injury. This may include helping the person learn how to walk again or regain use of their arms and legs if they are paralyzed. Surgery is rarely performed in the treatment of occipital stroke. It is only used if there is a serious risk of death from bleeding in or around the brain.

What Is The Long-Term Outlook For Someone Who Has Suffered From An Occipital Stroke?

The outlook for someone who has suffered from an occipital stroke will vary from person to person. The extent of the brain damage and location of the brain damage will influence the long-term prognosis. In some cases, people have made near complete recoveries, but this is rare. Most people make at least some recovery but still have permanent damage.

The long-term outlook can depend on a number of factors:

The symptoms that the person is experiencing now

Whether the person has had any complications, such as seizures or dangerous swelling

What parts of the brain were damaged and to what degree

Overall health before the occipital stroke happened

Level of support from family members and caregivers

Level of determination to recover and adapt

It is important to remember that even if someone has permanent damage, this does not mean they can no longer enjoy an active and fulfilling life. Many people learn to adapt their lifestyle and continue to live a happy and stimulating life.

When Can Someone Expect To Leave The Hospital After An Occipital Stroke?

This is another question that doesn’t have a fixed answer. Everyone is different and the length of stay in the hospital will vary depending on the situation. Some people may remain in the hospital for weeks or even months, while others may be able to go home in a day or two. Typically, someone who has made a full recovery and doesn’t have any complicating factors will be able to go home within a week of suffering from an occipital stroke.

What Kind Of Long-Term Care Does Someone Need After An Occipital Stroke?

Some people will be able to live independently after an occipital stroke. However, many of the symptoms may make it difficult or unsafe for someone to live alone. Someone may be able to return home but may require additional support from a caregiver either part-time or on a full-time basis.

Long-term care also includes physical and occupational therapy as needed. It is important for people to keep their brains active and stimulated after an occipital stroke. This can help prevent additional problems with thinking and reasoning skills.

What Are The Causes Of An Occipital Stroke?

An occipital stroke is caused by a blockage or tear in the blood vessels of the back of the brain, which is located at the base of the skull. This area is known as the occipital lobe and is responsible for processing vision. A blockage or tear in the blood vessels can cut off the blood supply causing damage to this area of the brain.

There are a number of things that can cause this to happen, including:

Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Atherosclerosis also causes narrowing of the arteries and veins, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients getting through to the brain. When this happens in the occipital lobe, it can cause a stroke.

Heart disease is the most common cause of occipital strokes, and can happen to anyone, regardless of age.

It is important to visit your doctor for a thorough check-up every year. Part of this should include a digital blood pressure check and a discussion about any changes in your health.

How Can Someone Prevent An Occipital Stroke?

It is not currently possible to prevent an occipital stroke, but there are things that you can do to try to prevent other health problems that may lead to this type of stroke. Some of these things include:

Quit Smoking

Avoid Illicit Drugs

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Exercise On A Regular Basis

Follow A Healthful Diet

Manage Stress

If you do participate in any high-risk recreational activities such as motorcycle riding or sky-diving, be sure to always wear a helmet and safety gear.

Take A Multivitamin Everyday

Ask Your Doctor About Medicines To Help Prevent Hardening Of The Arteries (Atherosclerosis) And High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

How Is An Occipital Stroke Diagnosed?

Diagnosis is a process of ruling out other possible issues that may be causing the symptoms. This process may include blood tests, brain imaging with a CT scan or MRI, and electroencephalogram (EEG). During an EEG, electrodes are placed on the scalp to record the brain’s electrical activity.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

An occipital stroke rarely causes any lasting damage if it is treated quickly. The main goals of treatment are to maintain adequate blood flow and oxygen to the brain. This may involve any of the following:

Lifestyle Changes



Lifestyle Changes

There are certain changes you can make to your lifestyle in order to try to prevent an occipital stroke in the future. These changes include:

Quit Smoking And Limit Alcohol Intake

Exercise On A Regular Basis

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Manage Stress

Avoid Illicit Drugs


If you experience any of the following problems, your doctor may prescribe medication to help improve them:

Severe headaches

Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs

Blurry or double vision


If lifestyle changes and medication don’t work, surgery may be an option. The procedure is known as an occipital bypass and involves taking a vein or artery from the leg and attaching it to the head in order to bypass an occluded (blocked) blood vessel.

What Is The Long-Term Outlook?

The outlook is generally very good. Most people who have an occipital stroke make a full recovery and experience no lingering effects. However, it is still important to follow your doctor’s orders concerning any post-stroke therapies. If you do, there is a good chance that you will return to your normal lifestyle.

Did You Know?

You can reduce your risk of stroke by making healthy lifestyle changes.

Not everyone experiences all of the symptoms associated with a stroke.

The symptoms of a stroke can be easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

A stroke is a medical emergency that needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Strokes can be broadly classified as ischemic or hemorrhagic. An occipital stroke is an ischemic stroke.


“Anterior Circulation Stroke.” University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011.

“Brain Attack: Stroke.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, December 2011.

“Ischemic Stroke: Get the Facts.” American Heart Association, July 2013.

“Occipital Artery Infarction.” Mayo Clinic, December 2011.

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Changes in artistic style after minor posterior stroke by JM Annoni, G Devuyst, A Carota… – Journal of Neurology …, 2005 – jnnp.bmj.com

Time is Vision: Properties of Vision Early after Occipital Stroke and Capacity for Recovery by EL Saionz – 2020 – urresearch.rochester.edu

Left occipital lobectomy and the preangular anatomy of reading by SH Greenblatt – Brain and language, 1990 – Elsevier

Disorders of the optic tract, radiation, and occipital lobe by JA Fraser, NJ Newman, V Biousse – Handbook of clinical neurology, 2011 – Elsevier