Each March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, a time to raise public consciousness about the individuals who suffer from head trauma or an acquired brain injury. At the Optometry Center for Vision Therapy (OCVT), this month is important to our clinic because 50% of people with neurological problems, including brain injuries, suffer from a visual-cognitive disorder. Our goal is to bring awareness to brain injury issues and spread knowledge in the central Texas community. The trauma caused by head injuries has a severe impact on vision, but these visual problems can be treated. OCVT helps to stimulate vision with specialized tools and vision therapy. We hope to raise the profile of traumatic brain injuries and eye problems and show patients and their families how vision therapy can help.
What is Brain Trauma?
2.6 million people a year in the U.S. suffer from some form of brain injury, whether because of trauma, stroke, or another illness. Many people with a traumatic brain injury need assistance in their daily activities, especially with their vision. Just like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, all brain injuries are head injuries, but not all head injuries are brain injuries. There are two main categories of brain injury:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)– Often caused by motor vehicle or pedestrian accidents, falls, or assaults. An external force causes damage to the head, which moves the brain inside the skull or damages it.
- Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)– This kind of injury occurs at the cellular level and is often related to brain pressure, such as from a tumor or neurological disorder.
Both these types of brain injuries can affect vision, including eye muscles and nerve connections. Many victims of brain trauma can no longer use their eyes to track correctly for activities like reading or driving and have issues with balance, dizziness, double vision, and more.
What are the Visual Symptoms of Brain Injury?
After a stroke or other form of brain injury, affected individuals often have trouble adjusting. Their balance is thrown off, and they may be subject to bouts of dizziness, double vision, and sensitivity to light. OCVT can help retrain eye muscles and nerves to help rebuild connections.
While vision problems after brain injuries aren’t always obvious to the outside observer, other signs of brain injuries, including speech and motor problems, are often easier for families and healthcare providers to identify. If you notice these, it’s possible to move quickly to help with recovery and rehabilitation. By getting a neuro-visual assessment from an OCVT doctor right after a brain injury, we can help begin treatment of visual problems right away.
OCVT and Brain Injury Awareness Month
Join OCVT in spreading awareness about brain injuries and vision and getting those who need treatment to see specialists like Dr. Larson. She is a Fellow of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA), one of 18 specialists in the U.S with a highest level of competence in the field of neuro-optometric rehabilitation. We can ensure those with brain injury get the assistance they need and reduce symptoms like double, reduced, and blurred vision, along with dizziness and light sensitivity. Contact OCVT today for more details about brain trauma treatment and vision problems during this Brain Injury Awareness Month.