A concussion is a type of brain injury that can affect normal visual processing. Even a mild blow can have repercussions to the visual system and can occur in any recreational activity, sport or everyday life.
Oftentimes, when a person has a concussion, the medical team has multiple areas of healing to address in order to help the patient heal and return to their normal activities. There may be broken bones or internal injuries that take priority for the doctor and other medical professionals to ensure that the patient is stable and any life-threatening situations are handled properly. Depending upon the severity of these other medical challenges, treatment for the concussion and related consequences may take a back seat for the treatment team, and are sometimes overlooked entirely.
Disturbances to the visual system can be devasting. A behavioral optometrist can evaluate, treat and manage the visual challenges associated with concussions because she understands the nuances of the visual system. People who sustain a concussion often experience double vision, headaches, focusing problems, sensitivity to light and eye-tracking issues. Vision Therapy after concussions will involve working with a behavioral optometrist and performing prescribed exercises designed to enhance visual skills. Treatment can include tinted lenses for light sensitivity, specialized glasses for computer work or reading, or optometric vision therapy.
There are certain parts of vision that are tested when a doctor diagnoses a concussion. A variety of visual motor tests are a part of the process, as well as determining the field of vision and acuity. However, there are additional tests that can provide more information, improving diagnosis and treatment.
For instance, many concussion patients experience difficulty with spatial orientation and visual memory. Depending upon the degree of spatial orientation damage, this problem can make it difficult for a person to perform daily tasks, such as walking or driving to a different location. This can also be thought of as being challenged to relate to where one is and how to navigate through one’s environment.
As far as visual memory damage, if it is not addressed and rectified as much as possible, it can make life incredibly challenging for the patient who has suffered the trauma. Visual memory involves being able to visually recall things, such as where a person placed their glasses or keys. The patient might have difficulty preparing even simple meals, because they might lose track of where the needed items are placed. Even cooking a microwaveable meal might be virtually impossible for a patient with extreme visual memory damage.
It is important to take a proactive stance by seeking Vision Therapy after concussions. Otherwise, there could be long-term consequences. In the past, young athletes who suffered a concussion simply shook it off and got back in the game. Hopefully, this no longer happens as frequently due to rising awareness of concussions.
If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion, contact 4D to schedule a functional vision evaluation today.
Learn more about Post-Concussion Vision Therapy.
Read this press release to learn more about how 4D helps young athletes suffering from concussions.
Please note: In-office, Optometric Vision therapy, under the direction of a Behavioral Optometrist using prisms, filters and lenses, as used with our patients, is far more effective than home-based therapy.