March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Did you know that more than 3.5 million children and adults sustain an acquired brain injury each year? These are injuries to the brain that are not hereditary, congenital or induced by birth trauma.

Brain injuries can come in many forms:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Mild Acquired Brain Injury
  • Mild Closed Head Injury
  • Cervical Trauma Syndrome
  • Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cerebral Vascular Accident
  • Post-Concussive Syndrome- If you have ever experienced a concussion, there are a number of symptoms that relate to the connection between vision function and These symptoms can include: blurred vision (especially when reading), headaches associated with reading, double vision, eye pain, poor reading comprehension, light sensitivity and frequent loss of place when reading.

The following is a list of symptoms of visual problems which can result from brain injuries:

  • Sensitivity to light, glare sensitivity
  • Blurred Vision
  • Reading difficulties; words appear to move
  • Comprehension difficulty
  • Attention and concentration difficulty
  • Memory difficulty
  • Double vision
  • Aching eyes
  • Headaches with visual tasks
  • Inability to maintain visual contact
  • Reduction or loss of visual field
  • Difficulties with eye movements, such as:
    1. Ocular pursuits (eye tracking ability)
    2. Saccadics (shifting gaze quickly from one point to the other)
    3. Accommodative inability (focusing)
    4. Binocular vision (eye alignment, eye teaming)
  • Visual field loss

Living with Brain Injuries

Brain injuries affect who we are, how we think and how we act and feel. A brain injury can turn our whole world upside down in a matter of seconds. The effects from brain injuries vary from person to person. These injuries are complex and the effects vary depending on cause, location and severity.

Here at Optometric Physicians, we want to be able to help our patients regain control and independence in everyday living situations through our Neuro-Rehabilitation Program.  Those affected by a TBI should first schedule a comprehensive eye exam.