Vision problems due to concussions occur around 69% of the time. These vision problems can be debilitating. The functional vision problems don’t allow for a person to use their eyes to focus on the world and gather information properly. There are three main functions are eyes perform: eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye movements. Eye focusing is the ability to see an object clearly, eye teaming is to focus both eyes on one object to reveal depth perception, and eye movements is the ability to follow a moving object with your eyes.
Common vision symptoms in concussion patients:
- Double vision
- Poor eye tracking ability
- Difficulties with focusing on one object and then shifting gaze to another object
- Loss of binocular vision (eye alignment)
- Eye strain
- Glare, or light sensitivity
- Inability to maintain visual contact
- Blurred near vision
The concussion can also cause:
- Spatial disorientation
- Difficulties with balance and posture
- Poor depth perception
- Memory loss
- Poor handwriting
Treatment for post-concussion vision problems:
Some or all of these treatments will be used after the patient’s vision problems are analyzed. A doctor may prescribe glasses to help alleviate the symptoms. Another method is syntonics. Traumatic brain injuries can cause problems with the autonomic nervous system. Syntonics is when a doctor uses a non-invasive therapeutic light to restore the balance in the ANS, and restores vision. Vision therapy is also a form of treatment, and the specific therapy activities are determined based on the patient’s individual vision problems.
Dr. Budge also currently serves as a member of the concussion clinic team with the sports medicine division of the Budge Clinic at Logan Regional Hospital, managing vision problems associated with concussions, including doing vision rehabilitation.