What Is Post-Traumatic Vision Syndrome? 

Editor: Dr. Russel Lazarus, Published January 4, 2021

Around 90 percent of concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) result in some degree of visual dysfunction. 

Post traumatic vision syndrome (PTVS) is the clinical diagnosis for the visual symptoms that appear following a brain injury.

The primary cause of PTVS is a disconnect between the two essential aspects of vision that help us to see clearly and comfortably— central vision and peripheral vision.

Peripheral vision allows us to understand where we are in space, and contributes to balance, movement, coordination and posture.

After a neurological event such as a TBI, the peripheral visual process can be compromised, and lead to a disconnect between these two systems and the development of visual symptoms.

Symptoms of PTVS

Visual symptoms may include:

Other symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Imbalance
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired visual memory
  • Reduced concentration
  • Reading difficulties
  • Driving difficulties
  • Impaired ability to navigate through tight, crowded spaces

How is PTVS treated? 

Post traumatic vision syndrome is generally treated by a neuro-optometrist through a therapy program called neuro-optometric rehabilitation.

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is an effective treatment for the improvement of the visual skills that have been affected by a concussion or TBI.

Each individualized program targets the needs of the patient, and is designed to strengthen the visual skills necessary for daily functioning.

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation can improve a wide range of visual skills, including:

  • Binocular vision
  • Visual processing
  • Visual midline shift
  • Spatial awareness
  • Eye-tracking and focusing
  • Convergence
  • Ocular motor function

In addition to evidence-based eye exercises, a therapeutic session may include the use of specialty lenses, prisms, and other visual aids to strengthen the neural connections and improve functional vision.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of PTVS, schedule an appointment with a neuro-optometrist as soon as possible. 

With a neuro-optometric evaluation and treatment program, you can regain your vision, increase your comfort and independence and improve your quality of life.