Vision and Brain Injuries

Published on
February 18, 2022

A brain injury can have a number of negative effects on the body, but one impact that many do not consider is that a brain injury often severely affects vision. Simply performing basic activities of daily living requires the use of the visual system. If you are experiencing any visual symptoms following a concussion, stroke, whiplash, or other traumatic brain injury, schedule a neuro optometric eye exam. 

What are the causes of brain injuries?

In the US, almost 3 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries each year (and over 10 million worldwide). These can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, physical violence, and strokes. In addition, they can also be caused by degenerative ailments such as parkinson's or multiple sclerosis and hemorrhagic or ischemic strokes. Studies have shown that more than 90% of head trauma injuries also result in vision problems.

What kind of vision problems can result from a traumatic brain injury?

There are many potential problems that can occur, and some are more noticeable than others. They include:

  • Light and glare sensitivity
  • Difficulty reading
  • Reading comprehension difficulties
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Vision problems caused by a TBI usually make it difficult to balance, read, and drive.
  • Reduction or loss of visual field (peripheral vision loss)
  • Eye aching or pain
  • Frequent headaches or ocular migraines
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Memory issues
  • Vestibular problems 

How are vision problems caused by brain injuries treated?

A behavioral vision exam is the first essential step in recognizing symptoms and diagnosing them. A neuro optometrist will craft a treatment plan based on your unique situation once the precise problem is determined. Neuro optometric rehabilitation can be very effective in recovering visual deficits caused by traumatic brain injury.

Neuro optometric rehabilitation may include one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Prism glasses
  • In office vision therapy
  • Syntonics or light therapy 
  • Eye muscle surgery

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