Nearly everyone who has suffered a brain injury experiences vision problems to some degree. Unfortunately, these problems are often not addressed adequately (if at all,) even though they can have a significant impact on quality of life and rehabilitation after the incident.
Here are some common examples of visual symptoms after a brain injury:
- Double vision
- Light sensitivity
- Sensitivity to movement in their vision, particularly in busy environments. Even walking down the aisles in a grocery store can be overwhelming.
- Balance issues, dizziness (could also be non vision-related, but vision is a big factor in balance.)
- Headaches (again could be non vision-related, but is a factor worth investigating)
- Difficulty reading, print seems to move around on the page
We can help to address these problems in a variety of ways.
Visual abilities are often compromised due to brain injury. These include the ability to accurately perceive space, adjust and maintain eye alignment, make accurate eye movements, etc. Everyday tasks such as reading, driving, and walking in busy environments can be nearly impossible for some people with TBI. Vision therapy can be extremely helpful in improving these visual abilities.
Prisms can be used in different ways to reduce or eliminate double-vision, improve balance and posture, improve spatial perception, etc.
Simply reducing visual input with a tint can be very helpful. Studies have also shown that certain colors can improve reading fluency in brain injured patients.
Dry Eye Treatment
Dry eye syndrome is frequently seen after traumatic brain injury. Besides being uncomfortable, it can also cause blurred vision, which can be constant or intermittent depending on severity.
This is a technique that reduces the overlap of the vision of the two eyes. This can be helpful in reducing visual stress and improving spatial perception for people with TBI.
These are special prisms that are mounted onto glasses for people who have hemianopsia (loss of vision on one side.) These prisms help bring objects in the area of vision loss to the person’s attention, which helps them to navigate with more safety and confidence.