Vision Problems after Concussion
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by external force to the head, such as a motor vehicle accident, a fall, or contact sports. A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. One does not need to be knocked unconscious in order for the injury to be classified as a concussion.
Most people don’t realize that the eyes are part of the brain. Therefore, if there is damage to the brain, vision can be significantly affected. Visual processing involves the connection between our eyes and the brain. Visual processing problems are very common following brain injury. The flow of information between the eye and brain is often jumbled after a brain injury.
Vision involves more than seeing the letters on the eye chart clearly, 20/20 eyesight. Eyesight occurs in your eyes, but vision occurs in your brain where the visual image is processed. Over half of your brain is used for vision and visual processing. Therefore, if there is damage to the brain, vision can be significantly affected.
How often is vision affected in concussions?
A recent study found that over 90% of patients with a concussion had one or more of the following vision problems:
• blurred vision
• double vision
• sensitivity to light
• headaches with visual tasks
• reading difficulty
• movement of print on the page
• poor reading comprehension
• poor depth perception
• difficulty focusing your eyes on things in your environment
• difficulty moving your eyes
• processing visual information
• poor eye-hand coordination or problems judging stairs.
• things moving may make you feel ill
If you or a loved one have experienced a concussion, call Family Eyecare Solutions to schedule a Neuro-Optometric Vision Evaluation with Dr. Vasilakos.
What tests are needed to detect these visual problems?
If you had an eye examination and have been told that there is nothing wrong, that is because regular eye examinations are not designed to test visual processing problems. A Neuro-Optometric Vision Evaluation involves testing how well the eyes move, how they work together, how they focus and how you understand what you see all while performing normal activities of daily living.
Treatment varies depending on the depth of the problem. Treatment may include lenses, special tints, prism, and/or Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation.