Concussion, Brain Injury and Vision Therapy
The brain contains more neurons supporting the visual system than the rest of the senses combined.
Visions problems are very common after concussion, but not visual acuity (20/20) problems. A recent study that Dr. Gallaway participated in at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) showed 50% of adolescents after concussion had problems with eye teaming, focusing and tracking that made returning to school and sports more difficult.
A wide range of visual problems can result from concussion and brain injury. Due to the complexity of the brain networks that control vision, even mild concussions can often cause the following symptoms:
- double vision
- blurred vision
- eye strain and fatigue
- headaches that intensify with use of the eyes
- dizziness or nausea
- difficulty tracking moving objects or loss of place when reading
- light sensitivity
- motion sensitivity
Stroke or more significant brain injury can also affect peripheral (side) vision and visual processing ability.
Vision therapy can be very effective in restoring normal visual function after concussion or brain injury.
Fortunately, many visual problems after concussion will resolve with rest and allowing the brain to heal. Vision therapy, also referred to as neuro-optometric rehabilitation, can be very effective in cases where visual symptoms persist, even when other symptoms such as dizziness or poor balance have resolved.
Read the blog of a young adult recovering from a serious brain injury with the help of vision therapy at TBI Blog. The Concussion Project has information on vision problems after concussion and how vision therapy can help.
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