Welcome to the Concussion Library. The place for advanced understanding of concussion and how the visual system can be affected.
Concussions result from a direct blow to the head or, indirectly from something such as whiplash. The impact causes the brain to hit against the inside of the skull causing brain bruising. It is estimated that nearly 4 million concussions occur yearly in the United States.
Concussions have these typical symptoms:
- Vomiting and/or Nausea
- Post-traumatic amnesia
- These are visual:
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred Vision
- Double vision
- Loss of place when reading
This means a person with a concussion may see like this!
10-20% of concussions result in symptoms that can last weeks, months, or more. When these symptoms persist, a condition known as post-concussion syndrome occurs.
Up to 1/3 of symptoms are visual, meaning vision is often the missing link.
Recent research suggests that over 50% of patients with concussion or post-concussion syndrome have visual problems that may cause headaches, eye headaches, double vision, eye strain or blurred vision. It may even cause students to have decreased reading speed and comprehension.
Optometrists have a great understanding of the visual system. They have the opportunity to retrain the visual system to help eliminate the visual symptoms most commonly associated with post-concussion syndrome. This is done through a program of neuro-optometric rehabilitation.
You’ll want an optometrist dedicated to neuro-optometric rehabilitation.
Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation represents a specific area of optometry, which addresses deficits in eye-teaming, focusing, visual tracking, visual processing problems, and related visual problems. These problems are common with patients who have concussion and other forms of acquired brain injury. Treatment involves spectacle lens prescriptions, prisms, filters, and special tints which can provide symptomatic relief.
In addition, vision therapy is also a powerful form of neuro-optometric rehabilitation. Vision therapy entails a variety of non-surgical therapeutic procedures designed to modify different aspects of visual function. Vision therapy typically involves a series of treatments during which carefully planned activities are carried out by the patient under professional supervision in order to relieve the visual problem. The specific procedures and instrumentation utilized are determined by the nature and severity of the diagnosed condition. Vision therapy is not instituted to simply strengthen eye muscles, but rather is generally done to treat functional deficiencies in order for the patient to achieve optimal efficiency and comfort.
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