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Vision therapy helps woman see in a new way

A brain hemorrhage in 2015 has Kathleen Johnson working on her vision at CarePartners outpatient occupational therapy in Asheville. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A brain hemorrhage in 2015 has Kathleen Johnson working on her vision at CarePartners outpatient occupational therapy in Asheville.

"I want to be better. I want to be 100 percent the way I was," Johnson said. "I don't want to be different than I was."

But things are different. Kathleen has "blind spots," especially in the right quadrant of the right eye, according to her therapist Cynthia Piasta.

"We have a certain amount of field of vision from side to side and top to bottom," Piasta explained. "There was a piece of that that was missing."

Johnson said, currently, her peripheral vision is compromised.

"I'm looking at you here and can look up to here. If I want to look any further, I have to move my head to see it," she described.

Reading exercises won't improve her sight, but help her compensate by promoting head turning in order to minimize the dangers of the blind spots.

More than two years has passed since the brain hemorrhage and since her last occupational therapy session several weeks.

Nevertheless, she has many hopes in the year ahead.

"I want to be driving; I want to be teaching yoga to people," Johnson said. "I'd like to be helping people as much as I can."

She's seeing the way to pay it forward.

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