How Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Affect Your Vision

Traumatic brain injuries (which, despite the name, need not be incurred in incidents many of us would consider “traumatic”) are not altogether uncommon, and studies show that in as many as 90 percent of cases there is a vision issue following the injury.

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What Causes Vision Problems Following a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Eye Damage

When one sustains a head injury, the eye itself can be injured, and if there had previously been eye conditions present such as cataracts, these may be made worse by a head injury. If the muscles which control the eye’s lens are damaged and not functioning properly, it can be difficult to change focus between near and far objects. If the muscles which control eye movement or the nerves which control the muscles are negatively impacted, or if there is a hairline fracture in the eye socket, it can be difficult to control eye movement.

Brain Damage

Traumatic brain injuries can also, of course, lead to damage in the brain itself, impacting the “wiring” of the brain. This can negatively affect many brain functions, including vision. 

Damage to the Brain-Eye Connection

Both the eyes and the brain are part of the vision system, and even if each is working properly on its own, if the connection between them is not functioning correctly, vision problems will result. Additionally, damage to this connection can lead to decreased visual memory (the ability to remember seen items like passwords) and decreased visual field (diminished ability to see to the sides, or above and below.


Some medications a patient may receive post injury may affect vision. This can include making focusing more difficult, or dryness.


What Vision Symptoms Can Occur Following a Traumatic Brain Injury?

There are numerous potential signs of a vision problem following a traumatic brain injury. These include:

  • Eye aching or pain
  • Headaches or motion sickness
  • Lack of balance
  • Difficulty moving the eyes, especially together
  • Decreased depth perception
  • Excessive tearing 
  • Decreased visual memory
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks requiring vision
What Vision Symptoms Can Occur Following a Traumatic Brain Injury?

How Should Vision Problems From Traumatic Brain Injuries be Treated?

If you experience vision issues following a traumatic brain injury, consult with eye care professionals who specialize in treating vision issues resulting from brain injuries, such as neuro-optometrists.

Following an evaluation to get a proper sense of your condition, the neuro-optometrist will devise a personalized treatment plan for your unique situation. This can include vision therapy exercises and the use of vision aids or surgery.

The amount of time required for treatment and recovery will vary on a case by case basis.

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Traumatic brain injuries have a high chance of causing some sort of vision issue. The precise causes and symptoms can vary, but it is important to seek proper diagnoses and treatment as soon as possible, to prevent minor problems from becoming major ones. If you are experiencing vision issues following a traumatic brain injury, contact us to Book an Appointment for an evaluation.

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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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