Concussion and other brain injuries can affect an individual in many ways. However, one side effect that is commonly overlooked is its effect on vision. We often hear people complaining of headaches, difficulty concentrating or thinking, memory problems, attention deficits and mood swings. Yet, following concussion, there is often an interruption in communication between the brain and eyes. At least 50 percent of brain injury patients suffer from vision problems subsequent to the injury. The most common are:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty reading
- Peripheral vision loss
- Binocular vision problems
- Double vision
Why Are Vision Problems Overlooked?
While many symptoms of concussion are present immediately, visual side effects of concussion may not be present until days, weeks or even months following the incident. If not treated, concussion-related vision problems can cause serious consequences. This includes reduced depth perception, balance issues, headaches, and reduced concentration and comprehension adequacy.
A regular eye exam often does not reveal the extent to which the visual process is affected from a concussive injury. Patients may be informed that their eyes appear to be healthy and they are seeing clearly. However, more extensive visual processes in the brain may be affected, known as Post Trauma Vision Syndrome (PTVS). Some symptoms may only last a few seconds, while others can linger for months, or even years.
The Neuro-Optometric Eye Test
At Adelaide City Optometrist, we use cutting edge technology to measure and monitor eye movement following a concussion. Paul Fotkou is trained in both the evaluation and management of eye and vision complications of concussion. During a neuro-optometric eye test, Paul will test ocular movements and coordination, posture, spatial awareness, integration with other sensory systems, visual memory, and motor output. Every injury is unique, and therefore, your treatment plan will be customised to your needs.
Sports Vision And Performance
Furthermore, we use similar technology and testing to help improve one’s visual performance in relation to sports performance. A range of visual skills can affect performance, from eye movement, to peripheral awareness and eye dominance. Did you know that a visual problem, rather than a lack of practice or mastery of the sport, may be hampering your performance. Do you:
- Fail to see the ball clearly;
- Have difficulty knowing where the ball or other players are at all times;
- Misjudge the distance of moving objects;
- Lack noticeable improvement with practice; or
- Have trouble remembering plays?
If this sounds like you, book a comprehensive sports vision assessment today.