Vision and Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can have numerous negative impacts on the body, but one impact that doesn’t come to mind for many, is the impact brain injuries can have on vision

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Almost 3 million Americans each year (and over 10 million people globally) suffer from traumatic brain injuries, which can result from motor vehicle injuries, physical violence, strokes, or simple falls. Of these, studies show that approximately, in addition to other impacts from the head trauma, 90% of such injuries result in some form of vision issue. While there is more understanding now of the link between brain injuries and vision problems, they can still sometimes remain undiagnosed for extended periods of time.

The most common cause of traumatic brain injuries are simple falls, followed by sports injuries (especially among younger people), blunt force trauma, motor vehicle accidents, and physical violence.

What Causes Vision Problems Following Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Apart from the obvious potential damage to the eyes and the brain, the brain-eye connection (the communication between these two components of the vision system) can be disrupted, leading to a wide range of problems.

Following traumatic brain injuries, the communication link between the eyes and brain is often disrupted, resulting in the high rate of vision problems following these injuries. The problems may be subtle or minor at first, but can become much more serious over time if left untreated.

Common causes of vision-related symptoms following a traumatic brain injury can be linked to several problems, including:

  • Damage to the eyes
  • Impairment of the brain’s ability to process and recall visual information
  • Impairment of control over the muscles which control eye movement and focus
  • Diminished ability of the eyes to move together.
What Causes Vision Problems Following Traumatic Brain Injuries?
What Sort of Vision Problems Can Result from a Traumatic Brain Injury?

What Sort of Vision Problems Can Result from a Traumatic Brain Injury?

There is a wide range of potential problems which can result, and some might be more noticeable than others. They include:

  • Sensitivity to light and to glare
  • Difficulty reading
  • Reading comprehension difficulties
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Vision problems that result from a TBI typically cause difficulties with balance, reading, and driving.
  • Reduction or loss of visual field
  • Eye aching or pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Memory issues
What Sort of Vision Problems Can Result from a Traumatic Brain Injury?

How Are Vision Issues From a Traumatic Brain Injury Treated?

The first step is properly recognizing symptoms and having them diagnosed through a comprehensive vision exam. These are given by neuro-optometrists, who specialize in vision issues caused by traumatic brain injuries. Once the precise problems are determined, the doctor will devise a personalized treatment based on your unique situation.

Treatment methods can include:

  • Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy
  • Phototherapy programs
  • Eye muscle surgery

No matter your symptoms, it is important to seek diagnosis and treatment early, to prevent any problems from becoming worse.

Dr. McBryar cartoon


If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, odds are you will encounter at least one vision issue due to the injury. These can manifest in a variety of ways, and from one of a few direct causes post injury. It is important to seek proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible, to prevent the problem from growing worse. If you believe you are suffering from a vision issue caused by a traumatic brain injury, contact us to schedule an appointment for an evaluation.

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