March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
Did you know that many of the symptoms associated with brain injuries are vision-related? Up to 90% of people who have had a traumatic brain injury have vision dysfunction as a result of the injury. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by outside trauma like a fall or a hard hit in an athletic activity. Diseases such as seizure disorders and strokes can also cause brain injuries. The brain is essential in processing information received from the eyes. After an injury like a concussion, it can take some time for the brain to heal and the eye/brain communication pathways to work together again.
March is Brain Injury Awareness month, as supported by the Brain Injury Association of America. Every 9 seconds someone in the United States suffers a brain injury. While some brain injuries are caused by medical conditions like seizure disorders or strokes, the external causes of brain injuries include falls, motor vehicle accidents and sports/athletic activities. Children age 0-4 and 15-19 are at greatest risk for brain injury according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The reason we wanted to focus this month’s newsletter on this important topic is because of the role vision plays in brain injury recovery, a topic and treatment area that is often overlooked in the treatment of brain injuries such as concussions. While we hope our patients remain brain-injury-free, we want to share evidence-based information about the treatment of brain injuries so that you are informed and can seek help if you or a loved one suffers a brain injury.
Visual symptoms someone who has experienced a brain injury may suffer include:
Difficulty maintaining concentration
Sensitivity to light
Changes in reading ability due to words seeming to move on the page, double vision, etc.
While this list can seem scary, it’s important to remember that the brain needs time to recover after an injury. Two weeks can be a normal amount of time to recover from a brain injury like concussion. If a young person has seen a decrease in school performance after a concussion, it may be time for an evaluation. The visual system may require support as the brain heals. Vision therapy and/or temporary lenses can be an important part of the recovery process and give the brain the support it needs to heal.
From the site braininjuries.org:
“The vision care professional can play an important role in the rehabilitation effort. Through vision therapy and the proper use of lenses, a behavioral or developmental optometrist specifically trained to work with Traumatic Brain Injury patients can help improve the flow and processing of information between the eyes and the brain.”
As your vision-care specialists, Clarendon Vision wants to work with you to help you or your loved one recover from a brain injury. If you or anyone you know has been impacted by a brain injury and is experiencing vision-related symptoms, schedule an appointment to talk with Dr. Spokas about a treatment plan that can aid in your rehabilitation. You or your loved one don’t need to suffer through challenges with your vision after a brain injury, we can help.