Research estimates that 80-85 percent of an individual’s perception, learning, cognition, and activities are mediated through vision. It can be challenging, therefore, for anyone suffering from vision issues after a brain injury.
Common Forms of Vision Problems After TBI
In general, 20-40 percent of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience related vision disorders. Some vision-related issues can be permanent while others resolve quickly. The extent and nature of the vision disorder is based, in part, upon the unique brain injury. Vision can be broken down into the following:
- Visual motor abilities, including alignment, refers to “eye posture”, meaning the direction in which the eyes point. For example, if the eyes are straight and aligned, the eye posture is normal.
- Visual perception is the ability to interpret information and surroundings from visible light reaching the eye.
- Visual acuity refers to clarity of sight.
- Visual field can include various different types of vision field loss.Optometrists Network  sets forth a list of vision related problems after a traumatic brain injury:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light, glare sensitivity
- 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 or focus
- Reduction or loss of visual field (Visual Field Loss)
- Difficulties with eye movements, such as:
eye tracking ability, shifting gaze quickly from one point to the other, focusing, eye alignment, eye teaming, and depth perception.
Techniques for Vision Problems Caused by TBI
There are various techniques and strategies to help people with vision problems after TBI. They can include the following:
- Prescription glasses: Corrective glasses can be used to assist with blurry vision.
- Magnification: Glasses that magnify objects can be helpful for up close activities such as reading and using a cellular telephone.
- Prism glasses: Prism glasses are specialized glasses with a prism ground into or put onto the lens. The prism changes the way that the light comes into the eye. This type of glasses can assist with double vision or visual field loss in many instances.
- Lighting: Implementing better or varying lighting for different environments.
- Patching: Patching one eye or part of the visual field of one eye to assist with double vision. The patch is placed to eliminate the information that results in the double image from coming into the brain.
- Technologies: Using assistive technologies to help with activities such as reading or using a computer.
- Vision therapy: Reteaching the eyes to move and look into missing areas in the vision field.
Other Strategies for Assisting with TBI-Related Vision Problems
- Take a break: Take a break often when doing tasks that rely on vision. This may be especially important when reading, watching television or using a computer or other electronic device. Look up every 20 minutes and focus on something at least 20 feet away to give your eyes a break.
- Avoid bothersome light sources. Fluorescent lights can be irritating to some people. Use natural light whenever possible. Wearing tinted sunglasses, indoors or out, may also provide assistance.
- Reduce glare. Wearing tinted sunglasses can help with glare. Covering shiny surfaces that reflect light into the eyes is another possibility.
- Avoid visual overload. Cut down on clutter in your home and at work. Try to keep all the items needed to complete a task together in one place. Designate one storage place for a frequently used item.
Contact a Philadelphia Brain Injury Attorney
The effects of a brain injury can be dramatic especially when it includes vision related problems. If you have vision difficulties after suffering from a brain injury, it is necessary to speak to an experienced Philadelphia brain injury attorney at the Levin Firm. We know how to evaluate your situation based on the facts of your case and to investigate what type of claim can be made on your behalf. Please call 215-825-5183 to schedule a free consultation today or call our toll free number at 877-825-8542.