Most people recognize that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may result in slight visual issues such as light sensitivity, blurred vision, and dull eye-pain. However, many people are surprised to learn that even a relatively minor traumatic brain injury can have a major impact on both visual acuity and field loss. In fact, TBI literature suggests that anywhere from 20-40% of people suffering from a head injury will also experience a related vision condition as well.
Unfortunately, many patients with a TBI ignore visual disorders, assuming that the impairment is only temporary. However, failing to seek treatment for vision impairment can lead to significant and potentially long-term consequences. If you or a loved one is recovering from a TBI, it’s important to recognize the signs of a related vision disorder and seek treatment as quickly as possible. A TBI can impact several visual skills including:
Processing visual data and queues are essential to interpreting the world around us. A person suffering from a head injury may begin to struggle to accurately interpret his or her surrounding environment.
Eye tracking measures the activity of our eyes, such as blinking, stimuli reaction, and what we instinctively look at and ignore. After a head injury, patients may start to notice a change in their eye tracking activity.
Maintaining Focus and Attention
Under normal circumstances, focus change (also known as accommodation) is the eye’s ability to modify its focal length, instantaneously adjusting from close to far without blurriness. Additionally, maintaining attention refers to attending to a specific activity with interruption. Both of these visual skills may be impeded after a TBI event.
Our periphery vision (also known as side vision) is our ability to view, monitor, and interpret what is on the side of us when our eyes are looking in front of us. Patients recovering from a TBI may begin to find their periphery vision has been truncated or almost eliminated completely.
Also known as stereopsis, depth perception is our visual ability to discern objects in three dimensions as well as perceive how far away an object is. Proper depth perception requires both of your eyes to process different angles of an object and create a unified final image.
Near and Distant Vision Acuity
Are you struggling to clearly see, identify, and process objects that are close or far away? Your TBI may be having a direct impact on your visual acuity.
Many people don’t realize that conjuring up an image in our “mind’s eye” is both a cognitive and visual skill. If you can’t accurately imagine a picture with clarity, it could be the result of your traumatic brain injury.
This list of effects is not all-inclusive, but specific examples of what could occur if a TBI is not properly cared for. If you’re worried about the impact of your TBI on your visual skills, it’s critical to seek proper medical care as quickly as possible. Contact us today to hear more.