A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur in a fall, car crash, violent attack or other event. It can be difficult to know which of the many symptoms associated with a TBI will gradually heal largely on their own and which could require long-term treatment and therapy.
Vision problems aren’t uncommon after a TBI. In fact, about 90% of TBIs have some effect on people’s vision because the injury often affects the communication between the brain and the eyes.
The wide-ranging impacts of vision dysfunction caused by a brain injury
People who have suffered a TBI that has disrupted this communication can suffer from:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision – often caused by “teaming,” where the eyes don’t work together properly
- Sensitivity to light and motion
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Difficulty focusing – especially moving from looking at something close to something farther away
- Difficulty tracking movement
“Visual memory loss” can also result. That’s when a person can’t remember things they’ve just seen or read. It may seem like a form of amnesia because often a person won’t be able to remember where they just saw an item (or a person) in their home. Sometimes, people can even have trouble recognizing familiar faces or locations.
It’s not uncommon for vision problems to cause discomfort as well. This can range from eyestrain to headaches to nausea and even serious eye pain. Of course, all of these things can make it impossible to work, study, drive, care for your children or even do simple chores. Doctors will often impose a “no screens” order on TBI patients.
Vision issues don’t always present immediately
While some vision dysfunction is apparent almost immediately, other changes don’t show up for days, weeks or even longer. It’s always wise to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist if you’re experiencing any vision or eye changes after an injury. You might be referred to a neuro-optometrist. If the problem turns out to be serious, there are rehabilitation techniques that can help.
Of course, all of this costs money. That’s why it’s crucial not to accept a settlement from an at-fault party until you know the full extent of your injuries and the medical care (including therapy and rehabilitation) you’ll need. It’s best to get legal guidance as soon as possible to protect your right to fair compensation.