Your Guide to Vision Problems Caused by Traumatic Brain Injuries

Read on to learn more about how traumatic brain injuries can have a direct impact on the visual system.

When people talk about traumatic brain injuries, vision issues are often not the first thing that comes to mind. However, since studies show that the majority of the more than 2 million people who suffer traumatic brain injuries in the United States each year experience some sort of vision problem as a result.

It’s important to know what sort of problems can arise, so that if any does, it can be quickly spotted and treated.

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How Are Vision Problems Found After a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The first step to being able to treat a problem is to properly spot and diagnose it. Once you notice a potential problem, the next step will be getting a comprehensive eye exam. As opposed to simple vision tests, comprehensive eye exams check the health of the eye overall, and the important vision skills which injuries may be impacting.

Neuro-optometrists will also perform a neuro-visual assessment to best pinpoint the exact conditions present.

What Sort of Vision Problems Can Be Caused By a Traumatic Brain Injury?

There are several problems which can arise, at different stages of the recovery process from the initial injury. Because of the nature of brain injuries, the vision issues can occur in the areas of eye movement, eye teaming (their ability to work together properly), the ability of the eyes to properly focus, or a decreased visual field (this is when a patient loses some measure of sight in a certain area, such as the sides). Of course, visual acuity loss is also possible (this is when there is difficulty seeing either near or far objects--the sort of common issues typically corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

  • Some of the more specific examples of problems one may encounter include:
  • Blurry vision, especially up close
  • Double vision
  • Decreased peripheral vision
  • Complete vision loss in one or both eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty focusing or paying attention to tasks
  • Issues with visual memory
  • Reading difficulties
  • Eye aches or pain, or headaches
What Sort of Vision Problems Can Be Caused By a Traumatic Brain Injury?
How Can These Problems Impact Daily Life?

How Can These Problems Impact Daily Life?

While on one hand it’s obvious how problems like blurry or double vision can impact daily life, it is worth understanding just how many important tasks can become more difficult. Some impacts can include:

  • Difficulty reading from a screen
  • Difficulty focusing on further objects after reading
  • Printed letters or numbers can appear to move, making reading harder.

A patient with a vision problem stemming from a traumatic brain injury may also experience discomfort in certain environments, such as places where there is bright light or a lot of glare, or places with a high volume of patterns or motion, due to visual overload.

These vision problems can also cause discomfort or pain on a regular basis, ranging from eye pain to excessive tearing to motion sickness, in addition to negatively impacting balance.

How Can These Problems Impact Daily Life?


Who Should Patients Consult Regarding Vision Issues Following a Traumatic Brain Injury?

If you are experiencing vision problems following a traumatic brain injury, consult with an optometrist who specializes. Specifically, neuro-optometrists in particular are equipped to provide the proper treatment for these conditions.

What Sort of Treatment do Neuro-Optometrists Offer?

Neuro optometrists provide treatment that helps the patients retrain their brain-eye connection so that they regain the functionality, and quality of life, that they had prior to their injury. These treatment programs are highly personalized, based on the situation and the needs of the individual patient.

In the event that exercises or other similar treatment methods are not enough to completely correct the problem, your neuro-optometrist can recommend vision assistance devices or other therapy/treatment strategies.

Dr. McBryar cartoon


Traumatic Brain injuries can cause a number of vision problems which may negatively impact day-to-day life, and they may occur at varying stages of the recovery from the initial injury. It is important to both recognize and to understand their root cause, so proper treatment can be sought. Neuro-optometrists are professionally trained to help patients recover from such issues. If you are experiencing any vision problems following a traumatic brain injury, contact us to schedule 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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