From major league sports to Hollywood blockbusters, concussions are everywhere in the news. An umbrella term to describe a wide variety of similar brain injuries, a concussion can occur in any walk of life– not just stadiums and arenas.
Your eyes are intimately connected with your brain, so a concussion can mean serious things for your eyes and vision.
The guide below is the Vision Gallery’s quick hit list about post-concussion eye care.
Black and blue.
A concussion or traumatic brain injury is most classically defined as a bruising of the brain. Your brain is normally suspended in fluid and protective tissue to keep you functioning as your optimal self. When this shock absorption is disrupted by an impact, it is common for the brain to strike the sides of the cranium (inner skull). These injuries all have varying effects, but they universally cause some issues with the visual system.
How many fingers?
Vision testing guidelines after brain injuries are advancing, but many people are only aware of the “Visual Field Test” (or VFT). This amounts to holding up fingers and asking the patient to identify them, but this does not address the complexity of how a concussion can impact your eyes.
Some loss of vision is a very common side effect of a concussion or similar brain injury. Every concussion is unique, so the manner and degree in which your eyesight degrades can vary greatly. Effects can be immediate and short-term or otherwise long lasting.
Blinded by the light.
Another typical result of a concussion is extreme light sensitivity, especially from sunlight or bright, digital screens. This issue is a major inconvenience for anyone’s daily life and there are very few ways to address it. One of the few effective treatments is avoiding the causes– which means staying indoors without any screens to help pass the time.
Not only can a concussion impact the clarity and quality of your vision, it can also reduce your reaction time. When the body has to work harder to communicate visual information, it takes more time to reach the brain. Consequently, your body’s ability to react and move accurately is vastly reduced– a common result of a traumatic brain injury.
The above is only a short summary of the complex issue of concussions and their effect on the visual system. If you are at risk of concussions are have experienced one recently, contact or visit the Vision Gallery as soon as possible! We can offer advice and guidance on concussion prevention, as well as treatment for post-concussion eye health and vision issues.