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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Vision Rehabilitation

What is Traumatic Brain Injury? 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a disruption of the normal functioning of the brain caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. TBI can range in severity from mild (concussion) to severe (loss of consciousness or memory).

Causes of TBI 

  • Falls

  • Sports injuries

  • Motor vehicle accidents 

  • Fights

  • Strokes 

  • Blasts (in military setting)

Visual symptoms are often overlooked and often may not be present until later. Patients are often frustrated by the time the diagnosis is made. The visual processing system is a complex and sophisticated network of information from the eyes and body to the brain. Diagnosing TBI related visual impairment requires awareness of the problems and special protocols and tools. 

Visual symptoms of post TBI

  • Blurred or blurry vision, loss of vision

  • Sensitivity to light 

  • Reading problems

    • decreased fluency, speed and or comprehension

    • words appear to move or change 

    • skipping lines, losing space 

  • Headaches ​

  • Comprehension difficulty (brain fog)

  • Attention and concentration difficulty

  • Double vision

  • Memory fog

  • Loss of visual field 

  • Difficulties with eye movements, tracking, pursuits, saccades

  • Visual spatial attention deficits 

  • Nystagmus 

  • Sleeplessness

Inefficient visual system can cause simple everyday tasks seem difficult. Recognizing and detecting visual symptoms are important steps in post-traumatic brain injury vision rehabilitation. 

Treatments and Rehabiliation

Depending on the cause and visual symptoms, treatments can vary in methods and length as the visual system/brain recovers. The treatment and rehabilitation typically involves an interdisciplinary team of occupation therapist, physical therapist, speech language pathologist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, PM&R physician, psychologist, and neurologist.

Vision Rehabilitation may include:

  • Glasses

  • Prism 

  • Vision therapy 

  • Tinted glasses 

  • Photosyntonic light therapy

One of Dr. Dau's specialty training is in Traumatic Brain Injury Vision Rehabilitation. She has extensive post-graduate training at the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center at the San Antonio VA working with an interdisciplinary rehabilitation medical team. 

Schedule a comprehensive exam with Dr. Dau if you are experiencing post TBI visual symptoms. 

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