Visual Symptoms in patients following an ABI or Concussion:
- Double vision
- Light sensitivity
- Poor tolerance to fluorescent lights
- Blurry vision
- Dizziness or nausea
- Attention or concentration difficulties
- Staring behavior (low blink rate)
- Spatial disorientation
- Loss of place when reading
- Comprehension problems when reading
- Visual memory problems
- Pulls away from objects when they are brought close to him/her
- Bumps into objects when walking
- Poor balance or posture
What is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?
In addition to working with adults and children with learning related vision issues, strabismus and convergence issues, we have begun seeing more patients with vision issues stemming from concussions, strokes or other head injuries. These patients are often left with vision issues following their treatments but not often given solutions to alleviate those symptoms!
Post concussion vision disorders:
As optometrists, we often see adults and children with a history of concussion or head traumas. Because vision is pervasive through the brain, it is extremely common to have visual issues after a brain injury or concussion.
Fortunately, many of these conditions and symptoms are well-managed or treatable. Treatments include lenses, spectacle prism, Fresnel prism, tints, home therapy techniques, in-office vision therapy, education and collaboration with other medical professionals such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language therapy, etc. In my experience, the vast majority of post-concussive patients have an immediate improvement in comfort with a change in lens prescription.
Some symptoms subside with time, but many do not. Studies by Cohen demonstrated vergence difficulties were essentially the same in the acute phase compared to three years later. This and other studies show that there is no reason for patients to wait (suffer) to get help.
My recommendation is for patients with concussions, especially those with visual symptoms, to be seen as soon as possible since symptoms and untreated vision issues can reduce quality of life and outcome of rehab.
You may have heard about Hillary Clinton’s recent TBI/concussion after a fall this December. It appears that she is receiving treatment for diplopia as she is sporting a Fresnel prism on her lenses in recent photographs. Hopefully, she is receiving visual care from an optometrist so she can make a full recovery.
If you or someone you know is has sustained a concussion or brain injury, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 763-241-1090 or email drschultz@
thechildrenseyedoctor.com if you have any questions in general about Neuro-optometric rehabilitation or a specific patient case. We love helping our patients reach their maximum potential.
Jill Schultz, OD, FAAO, FCOVD