Your Guide to Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome

Most people are familiar with the term post traumatic stress syndrome and the effects it can have on  a person. However, there is another term that is important to understand and that is post traumatic vision syndrome (PTVS). With almost 3 million traumatic brain injuries occuring every year in the United States, and with the numbers on the rise, it is important to understand these issues. Especially given that approximately ninety percent of traumatic brain injuries result in some sort of vision issue.

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What is it?

Post traumatic vision syndrome is the result of damage to the portions of the brain involved in the vision system. This damage causes disruptions in the function of that system, damage to the important link between the eye and the brain. Due to the nature of this damage, it is more likely than other brain damage suffered as a result of trauma to be missed during initial treatment. Post traumatic vision syndrome in particular encompases specific problems such as oculomotor dysfunction, binocular dysfunction, egocentric visual midline shift, among others.

Types of traumatic brain injuries which may lead to vision problems include falls, sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, physical violence, and strokes. Even brain injuries which most people might not consider “traumatic” or relatively minor, like a concussion, have a high chance of causing a vision problem.


What Symptoms Might I Experience From Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome?

There are a wide range of vision issues you might notice if you are suffering from post traumatic vision syndrome. These include:

Blurry vision: This can be due to damage to the eyes themselves or their ability to effectively relay received information to the brain.

Double vision: If the eyes are not working together, you may start seeing what each eye sees individually (as opposed to the brain properly combining the two images), leading to double vision.

Light or glare sensitivity: If the vision system is damaged, the brain-eye connection may have reduced ability to process incoming stimuli, leading to increased sensitivity in situations where there is more light.

Headaches: The headaches caused by PTVS are often associated with things like screens, reading, and any other environment with high levels of visual stimuli. 

What Symptoms Might I Experience From Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome?

Eye strain or fatigue: If the vision system is not functioning properly, there will be more effort required in order to see, which causes eye strain and fatigue. Eye pain is also a possible symptom.

Difficulty reading: Problems with eye tracking and their ability to work together properly can make reading at all difficult, both in terms of simply seeing and processing what is on the page, and also regarding how much effort it takes (which can lead to fatigue.) PTVS can also lead to decreased reading comprehension, as the brain is not able to properly process the information received via the eyes (even if the eyes are working fine on their own.

Dizziness or vertigo: The vision system plays an important part in the body’s ability to properly coordinate movement and maintain balance. PTVS can cause the vision system to feed useless information into the process, which impedes function and leads to a lack of balance. If other damage from the injury is also hampering the eyes’ ability to focus, it can exacerbate this problem.

In a broader sense, post traumatic vision syndrome can impact one or more areas of vision function, hampering your ability to not only see clearly, but focus on and comprehend things you see.

How is Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome Treated?

Post traumatic vision syndrome can be treated through neuro-optometric rehabilitation. Treatment may also include specialized prescription lenses, prism lenses, along with neuro-rehabilitation therapy or vision therapy.

What is the Treatment Process?

The first step will be taking a comprehensive eye exam, which (unlike typical vision tests) will examine the health of the entire vision system. If you suspect you are dealing with post traumatic vision syndrome, you can mention it to the doctor and they will know to focus on those areas of the exam. Following the exam and diagnosis, your eye care professional will formulate a personalized treatment plan for your unique situation.

How Long Does Treatment Take?

Length of treatment will vary on a case-by-case basis, and can range from just a few weeks to over a year. Also depending on the severity of the injuries, the degree of success in correcting the problem can vary as well.

What Symptoms Might I Experience From Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome?
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Post traumatic vision syndrome is the term used to refer to vision problems sustained following traumatic brain injuries. This can include a wide variety of symptoms, and while they might not be too severe at first, if not treated, these problems can become much worse over time and become harder to correct. Neuro optometric rehabilitation is an effective treatment option. If you suspect you are suffering from vision problems stemming from a traumatic brain injury, contact us to Book an Appointment .

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Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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