March is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness month and with that, comes a great opportunity to enhance knowledge on prevention and how TBIs affect our vision.
From a seemingly mild concussion to a severe closed head injury, vision can be dramatically altered even when the eyes themselves are not harmed. Vision occurs throughout our brains, so any injury can impact function and cause many abnormal visual symptoms.
Common Causes of TBI
- Falls (48%)
- Head being struck by object or wall (17%)
- Motor vehicle accidents (13%)
- Assaults (8%)
- Chemical toxicities and other (13%)
Falls in the elderly are most common and sports or motor vehicle accidents are most common in youth and young adults.
Common Visual Symptoms of a TBI
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Visual fatigue
- Difficulties in stores or crowded places
- Brain fog, poor concentration
- Reduced visual memory or processing
Many concussions thankfully heal on their own within a couple weeks, but often symptoms persist.
We highly recommend a neuro-visual eye exam if symptoms are not improving after a week or two. Longer than a month is considered post-concussion vision syndrome and patients often benefit from special glasses or rehabilitative vision therapy at our Vision Learning Center to help them heal from their injury.
When a TBI occurs, often a person might feel compelled to rush back to normal life activities, but doing so could cause the risk of repeat TBIs. Please take care of your brain and seek support if any abnormal symptoms are present. If you or someone you know is struggling with a brain injury, call our office at (713)664-8087.