He discussed his illness and recovery in the latest issue of Neurology Now, American Academy of Neurology's magazine for neurology patients and caregivers, as well as in his new book, "True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life."
Sorbo, now 53, said he suffered an aneurysm and three strokes, which left him partially blind and with nearly debilitating dizziness, nausea and weakness in 1997. The precise cause of the strokes remains unknown.
"I went through two years of hell before I began to feel like myself again," said Sorbo.
The actor said he experienced continuing vision problems and overwhelming fatigue, which limited the number of hours he could work on his action series.
His production studio concealed his condition by bringing on guest stars and rewriting scripts to work around his limitations, he said.
He said he has since regained his health, although he still experiences residual arm pain from the circulation loss and nerve damage, the occasional migraine and a 10-percent blind spot in his vision.
Sorbo recently appeared in the film "Soul Surfer" and has several movies in post-production. He also is working on a television pilot.
"My illness made me special in a way that I never wanted nor expected," Sorbo told Neurology Now. "I'm not 'Hercules;' I'm a mere mortal with human limitations and problems. But I am determined to not behave like a victim anymore."