Did you know? Approximately 20-40 people who experience a traumatic brain injury experience lasting vision impairments, and there are many cues of an acute brain injury that can be assessed based on the eyes.
Even with a mild traumatic brain injury can result in dizziness, blurred vision, and light auras in the visual field. Someone suffering a brain injury may also be sensitive to light and sound.
With a more severe injury, a telltale sign of brain injury is inconsistent dilation of pupils, meaning that one eye may be more dilated than the other and one or both don’t respond as they should to light stimuli.
It’s important that if you suspect any sign of a brain injury, you skip the optometrist’s office and head straight to the emergency department. Time can be a major factor in recovery from TBIs.
So, how can we do our best to prevent or limit the severity of TBIs?
1. Always wear a helmet
Kids and adults alike should always wear a helmet during activities like cycling, snowboarding, skiing, rollerblading, and even watersports like wakeboarding.
2. Be sure your old and young loved ones can see!
If you have people in your life who aren’t as stable as you are, making sure their visual acuity is sharp will help prevent slips, trips, and falls.
3. Always buckle up.
Seatbelts save lives, and your brain!
When does a brain injury result in blindness?
A penetrating brain injury or a blow to the back of the head can damage the area of the cortex that connects the brain with the eyes. In a case like this, the optic nerve and the rest of the eyes are perfectly intact and in theory, in working order, but the connection no longer works.
If you are recovering from a traumatic brain injury and are experiencing changes in your vision, it may be worth both a visit to your neurologist and your optometrist. They can work in tandem to help diagnose and potentially treat any issues you may be experiencing.