How does a TBI affect vision?
Vision is the most important source of sensory information. Consisting of a sophisticated complex of subsystems, the visual process involves the flow and processing of information from the eyes and body to the brain.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI)— including a concussion, stroke, or sports-related head injury, can disrupt the visual system, causing a multitude of various disruptions to the visual system.
An eye doctor with experience in neuro-optometric rehabilitation has gained specific training in the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems caused by TBIs.
Below are brief descriptions of the most common visual consequences of a TBI:
- Hemianopsia– Visual field loss
- Binocular Vision Difficulties– Uncoordinated eye movements
- Accommodative Dysfunction– Focusing difficulties
- Convergence Insufficiency– Difficulty moving visual fixation inward toward the nose
- Ambient Vision Function– Confusion in a busy visual environment, such as the mall or supermarket
- Spatial Disorientation– Difficulty organizing visually presented material
- Ocular Motor Dysfunction– Inaccurate pursuit, or saccadic eye movements
- Diplopia– Double vision
- Poor Visual Concentration or Poor Visual Attention
- Asthenopia– Eyestrain
- Visual Distortion– Objects appear to move or distort in shape
- Headaches when reading or during other visually directed tasks- Usually frontal, or temporal
- Blurred Vision– Both distant and/or near, and may be intermittent or constant
- Squinting or Facial Grimacing During Visual Tasks
- Photophobia– Light sensitivity
- Loss of Place When Reading– Omitting words, re-reading words
- Loss of Visual Awareness– One or both sides
- Visual Memory Problems– Inability to remember what was just read
- Nystagmus– Rapid oscillating side to side eye movements
- Poorly Centered Standing Balance– Weight shift and/or loss of balance laterally; forward (flexion) or backwards (extension)
- Depth Perception Problems– Inability to judge spatial distances
- Inaccurate Eye-Hand/Eye-Foot Coordination – Inability to accurately coordinate when reaching or walking
- Slow Reaction Time to Visual Stimuli – Poor visual attention
- Visual-Perceptual Problems – Inability to recognize faces, words or shapes
- Dizziness/Visual-Vestibular Dysfunction – Poor balance
- Ptosis – Droopy eyelid
- Blepharoparesis – An eyelid which does not blink well or doesn’t close fully