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10 Things About Vestibular Disorders You Probably Didn’t Know

tired woman 640The vestibular system is what helps us feel balanced and stable. People with vestibular disorders may experience symptoms like frequent dizzy spells, blurred vision, disorientation, falling, or stumbling. What many don’t know is that an optometrist trained in the field of neuro-optometry may be able to help. Read on to learn more about vestibular disorders and how we may be able to treat your dizziness.

10 Quick Facts About Vestibular Disorders

  1. Vestibular disorders affect more than 35% of adults over the age of 40.
  2. The vestibular system is made up of tiny fluid-filled parts within the inner ear, acting like a builder’s level, communicating with specific areas of the brain to process balance and movement.
  3. Other symptoms of vestibular disorders include nausea, fatigue, difficulty focusing on objects, poor concentration, difficulty reading, hearing loss, and ringing in the ear. Many of these symptoms may overlap with other conditions, so be sure to visit your doctor or eye doctor to rule out these conditions.
  4. Vestibular disorders can be caused by injury, disease, drug or chemical poisoning, ageing, and autoimmune diseases.
  5. Certain lifestyle changes can help ease symptoms of vestibular disorders. Reducing your intake of salt, caffeine, and alcohol could improve your condition.
  6. Vestibular disorders can be challenging to diagnose. Many patients report visiting four or more physicians over the course of several years before receiving a proper diagnosis.
  7. Some common vestibular disorders are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s disease, and vestibular migraine.
  8. Sadly, patients with undiagnosed vestibular disorders may sometimes be perceived as lazy, anxious, inattentive, or attention-seeking.
  9. While there is no cure for vestibular disorders, some treatments can help cope with the condition, such as medications, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and surgery. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation, which is a form of vision therapy, can be life-changing for some patients.
  10. There is hope! Neuro-optometrists who perform neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy can help many patients suffering from dizziness or other symptoms of vestibular disorders by improving the way the brain processes information. In some cases, vestibular disorders are caused or exacerbated by poor coordination between the eyes and the brain. With neuro-optometric therapy, patients learn how to train their eyes and brain to work in unison, lessening or eliminating many of the symptoms associated with the condition, including dizziness and disorientation.

If you are experiencing dizziness, contact Acworth Family Eyecare to schedule your functional visual evaluation. If your vision is healthy and doesn’t seem to be contributing to your symptoms, we can refer you to other health care professionals who can help.

Acworth Family Eyecare serves patients from Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Cartersville, all throughout Georgia.

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Experiencing Headaches? Visual Problems May Be the Cause

Experiencing Headaches 640We’ve all had it. A sudden headache that seems to pop up out of nowhere, rendering the most routine tasks unpleasant—even impossible. What many people don’t know is that visual problems can cause mild to severe headaches.

Certain Vision Problems May Cause Headaches

If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, certain eye conditions may be causing your pain:

  • Strabismus: (also called visual misalignment or crossed eyes) when the eyes aren’t lining up with each other and produce images in double vision
  • Binocular vision dysfunction: when the eyes’ line of sight don’t match, and the eye muscles strain to produce a focused image
  • Presbyopia: commonly referred to as age-related farsightedness, it is characterized by the difficulty in reading small text up-close. This is caused by the thickening of the eye’s natural lens.
  • Astigmatism, farsightedness and nearsightedness: when a misshapen cornea produces blurred or distorted vision and difficulty seeing either near or far-off objects

A note of caution.

If your headache is severe, something far more serious may be occurring. A sudden, severe headache may be a symptom of a stroke or a sight-threatening eye condition that requires immediate medical care.

This can include:

Acute angle-closure glaucoma: This occurs when fluid pressure builds inside the eye, leading to severe headaches, eye pain, blurry vision, and seeing halos around lit objects.

Giant cell arteritis: This occurs when the blood vessels’ inner linings swell, restricting blood flow. Symptoms include decreased vision and throbbing pain in the temples.

Get to the Root of Your Headaches

A comprehensive eye exam by a neuro-optometrist is the best way to determine whether you have visual challenges that could be causing your headaches. This eye exam checks for so much more than visual acuity; it often evaluates eye tracking and eye teaming, focusing, depth perception, oculomotor control, visual processing, peripheral awareness, and visual-vestibular integration.

If the exam shows that visual problems are at the root of your headaches, our doctors will provide a comprehensive treatment plan to strengthen your visual skills, such as neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy. This can help you improve the way your eyes and brain communicate by utilizing prism lenses, and a variety of personalized eye exercises. Doing so often improves balance, coordination, and cognitive abilities, and can also reduce eye strain and alleviate (or even eliminate) vision-related headaches.

If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, visit our doctors for a thorough assessment of your symptoms, and to determine whether they’re being caused by visual problems. If so, we’ll offer treatment to alleviate your pain. We’re here to look out for your vision.

Acworth Family Eyecare serves patients from Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and throughout Georgia.

References:

 

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Does Your Head Hurt? You Might Have Binocular Vision Dysfunction

headache womanHave you been struggling with headaches or migraines with little to no relief? If so, you might be suffering from binocular vision dysfunction (BVD).

A standard eye exam generally won’t identify BVD. That’s why it’s important to consult a neuro-optometrist if you’re experiencing headaches or migraines.

What is Binocular Vision Dysfunction?

Binocular vision dysfunction is a condition where your eyes are misaligned, leading the eye muscles to strain to transmit one clear image to your brain. This can result in head pain, migraines and several other symptoms. If the problem is BVD, a neuro-optometrist can diagnose the condition and provide effective treatment.

Common Symptoms of Binocular Vision Dysfunction

People with BVD typically experience some of these symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Double vision
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Reduced attention span and concentration difficulties
  • Shadowed, overlapping or blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Motion sickness
  • Poor depth perception
  • Neck, upper back or shoulder pain

If BVD is the cause of your symptoms, specialized prismatic optical lenses that allow the eyes to regain their alignment can usually provide prompt relief.

Learning Disabilities and Reading Symptoms

Having even slightly misaligned eyes can also disrupt learning and reading.

Binocular vision dysfunction can tire your eyes while reading. Words may blend together, and you may skip lines or lose your place while reading.

A routine eye exam isn’t geared toward diagnosing BVD, so if your child complains of headaches and is struggling with schoolwork, get them assessed by your neuro-optometrist today.

Treatment for Your Headaches and Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Unlike standard eyeglasses, BVD lenses are specialized aligning lenses that allow your eyes to work together. Once your eyes are working together, the brain will receive one clear image. Your eye muscles will then be able to relax and release the tension that can cause headaches and migraines. Your eye doctor can play a significant role in treating these symptoms.

If you suffer from headaches, you may have BVD or another vision problem. Schedule a vision evaluation at Acworth Family Eyecare as soon as possible. The earlier a vision problem is detected, the sooner you can receive a comprehensive treatment plan to achieve clearer and more comfortable vision.

Acworth Family Eyecare serves patients from Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and throughout Georgia.

 

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TBIs Can Be Caused by Even the Mildest of Head Injuries

TBIs Can Be Caused by Even the Mildest of Head InjuriesTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal function of the brain. Most are caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head. Even a mild TBI, such as a mild concussion, can interfere with the healthy functioning of the brain’s visual pathways, causing a disruption in the way the brain and eyes communicate and a host of visual dysfunctions.

In fact, studies show that 90% of TBI patients experience some form of vision disruption, which may result in long-term, life-altering consequences, such as blurred vision, visual field loss, reading problems, among others. They may also cause the person to be identified as dyslexic or having attention deficit disorder (ADD), and may present as spatial dysfunctions affecting posture and balance.

Most brain injuries are caused by motor accidents, blasts due to explosions, falls, physical abuse, or sports-related injuries. It’s often difficult to assess the severity of the impact an injury can have on the brain, as minor head injuries may at times cause abundant cranial bleeding, while major injuries may not bleed at all. Though the initial incident may be very painful, most of the symptoms of TBI may appear sometime after the injury and not at the time of initial impact.

TBIs and related visual symptoms must be taken seriously. If you sustained even a mild head injury but feel like you have a reason for concern, consult our doctors, who will assess your vision and help determine the right course of treatment for your condition to prevent potential long-term damage.

How Common Are TBIs?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 13.5 million individuals live with a disability caused by traumatic brain injury in the U.S. alone. Approximately 47% of traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls, particularly among young children, young men, and men and women over age 65. Fortunately, most TBIs (commonly called concussions), are mild.

How Does a TBI Affect Vision?

Since more areas of the brain are used to process vision than any other system, traumatic brain injuries often cause visual problems. Such injuries can disrupt the communication between the brain and the visual system and interfere with the processing of visual information, leading to blurred vision, reading difficulties, sensitivity to light, and double vision, among other symptoms.

Visual problems tend to be overlooked during the initial treatment of brain injury, especially with mild TBIs such as a concussion or whiplash. Furthermore, a regular eye exam often fails to reveal the extent to which the visual process has been affected since the vision complications that develop are not related to visual acuity (20/20), but rather to eye teaming, focusing, and tracking.

If you are experiencing post-concussion visual symptoms, there is always the risk that they will worsen over time. Some patients notice visual problems only while experiencing an additional stressor such as illness, family or work stress, or when there is a disruption to normal routines.

A Neuro-Optometric Assessment with our doctors can determine both the severity of the impact of a TBI on your visual system, and the treatment required for your recovery.

What Treatment Can a Neuro-Optometrist Offer?

If you’ve sustained a TBI, our doctors offers Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation, an individualized treatment regimen to rehabilitate the connection between the brain and the eyes and the visual system. This therapy can minimize or even eliminate TBI-related visual symptoms weeks, months, or even years after the injury.


Contact Acworth Family Eyecare if you have any questions, or to schedule a Neuro-Optometric Assessment. We serve patients from Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, and Cartersville, all throughout Georgia.

References:

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Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Harm the Visual System — And Self Esteem

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Harm the Visual System And Self EsteemA traumatic brain injury (TBI) can harm vital communication between the brain and the visual system, bringing on disabling symptoms. People trying to deal with these symptoms may experience depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

They may no longer be able to perform tasks as they once did. After a concussion or more severe TBI, one may experience recurring headaches that necessitate frequent breaks while working or studying, reducing productivity. Or chronic dizziness from a blow to the head could prevent a person from driving, making them dependent on others. A child who’s suffered a TBI may be unable to participate in group sports or activities, making them feel “alone” or “different.”

That’s where we come in. If you or a loved one has suffered even a mild TBI, speak with our doctors about having your visual system assessed during a functional vision evaluation to determine if something can be done to ease your symptoms.

Signs of Emotional Distress Following a TBI

The struggle to read a book or catch a ball due to double vision or eye tracking problems can be demoralizing. A post-TBI patient could experience lowered self-esteem or depression. Be alert for these signs:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Lack of interest in personal hygiene or appearance
  • Negative self-talk
  • Lack of motivation
  • Being irritable or moody
  • Reduced or lack of appetite

How a Neuro-Optometrist Can Help

It can be discouraging to hear from other health professionals that there’s nothing to be done for lingering TBI symptoms. Fortunately, neuro-optometrists can help post-TBI patients in ways that few other health care providers can.

Neuro-optometry deals with the visual system and how it impacts daily functioning. By training the brain to more effectively communicate and control the eyes, symptoms like dizziness, headache, and nausea can be significantly reduced or disappear altogether.

Eradicating these debilitating symptoms can be life-changing and allow you to go back to doing what you love. Children may once again be able to play with their friends on the soccer field or basketball court. Adults may become more interested in socializing and exercising, and become more productive at work. Resuming these activities can boost self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.

At Acworth Family Eyecare, we know all too well the challenges that accompany a traumatic brain injury and how it can affect self-esteem. To schedule a functional visual evaluation and determine if a problem with the visual system is contributing to your post-TBI symptoms, call Acworth Family Eyecare today.

Acworth Family Eyecare serves patients from Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and throughout Georgia.

REFERENCES

 

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Prism Glasses for Post-Concussion Patients

Concussions Can Affect the Visual System

Prism Glasses for Post Concussion PatientsConcussions are brain injuries resulting from physical trauma, such as a car accident, a fall, or a collision while playing sports. Left untreated, they can adversely affect one’s health for months or years to come. Because the visual system relies on the brain, a concussion can cause:

  • blurred vision
  • double vision
  • eyes misaligned while focusing
  • sensitivity to light
  • depth-perception problems
  • headaches
  • vertigo
  • balance problems
  • eyestrain
  • difficulty reading

People who experience a concussion often sustain other injuries, so medical professionals may initially overlook visual problems. Fortunately, when these problems arise, vision therapy can help.

Prisms Aid in Vision Therapy

If you’ve suffered a concussion, our doctors will ask about your visual symptoms post-concussion and how your daily routine is affected. Then our doctors will perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for severe optical consequences like retinal detachment or traumatic uveitis, and will evaluate your depth perception, binocular vision, and ability to focus.

Vision therapy for a concussion often includes the wearing of eyeglasses with prisms, which compensate for any changes to the visual system caused by the concussion. Prisms address spatial challenges — such as posture, depth perception, coordination, and balance — by shifting the perceived position of objects and adjusting part of the person’s visual field. You should begin to notice improvement while wearing prism eyeglasses during therapeutic exercises like walking in a corridor, taking heel-to-toe steps, and reading. If the concussion’s visual effects are more severe, our doctors will prescribe prism eyeglasses for your daily use.

Prisms’ effects are real. One study found that prisms led to a 71.8 percent reduction of headache, dizziness, and anxiety symptoms in some patients with traumatic brain injury. That study also found that the use of prisms allows other post-concussion therapies — physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medication — to work more effectively.

That means a better quality of life.

 

 

At Acworth Family Eyecare, our doctors uses prisms for post-concussion patients in Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and throughout Georgia.

References:

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How Vision and the Brain Work Together

How Vision and the Brain Work Together 640There’s more to a healthy vision than meets the eye. While it’s true that functional visual skills depend on healthy eyes, a healthy brain is equally important. The human visual system has three components: the eyes, the visual cortex, and the connecting pathways between the two. When communication between the eyes and brain is disrupted, such as after a brain injury or stroke, the patient is often left with visual symptoms that can interfere with day-to-day tasks. Even the mildest forms of TBI, where there is no concussion, can harm this communication. That’s where neuro-optometry comes into play.

What Is Neuro-Optometry?

Neuro-optometry treats vision-related symptoms at their source — the brain. By strengthening the eye-brain connection, neuro-optometrists can treat a multitude of symptoms and conditions caused by neurological diseases, congenital or metabolic conditions, and trauma.

Services offered by neuro-optometrists include:

  • Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy
  • Visual processing assessments
  • Extensive functional visual evaluations
  • Eye health examinations

A functional visual evaluation with our doctors will assess:

  • How well the eyes work together
  • Eye-tracking
  • Visual memory
  • How vision is integrated with balance and coordination
  • Ability to focus and aim

Who Could Benefit From Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy?

Brain injuries and other neurological conditions can affect multiple parts of the body, so patients and physicians may overlook problems in the visual system due to more pressing concerns. This is why a consultation with a neuro-optometrist is crucial.

Patients with any of the following conditions are urged to visit a neuro-optometrist for a complete evaluation:

  • Traumatic brain injury – (even a minor concussion)
  • Stroke
  • Chronic brain inflammation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Balance and mobility issues
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Any condition that affects the nervous system
  • Post traumatic vision syndrome
  • Light sensitivity
  • Visual midline shift syndrome
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Autism

The above conditions can impair any of the following visual skills:

  • Eye-tracking
  • Eye teaming
  • Eye movement
  • Visual perceptual
  • Focusing

Individuals who experience the following visual symptoms may also benefit from a consultation with a neuro-optometrist:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Reduced cognitive abilities related to visual tasks

Treatment typically involves specialized lenses and/or in-office neuro-optometric rehabilitation exercises that are tailored to each patient’s visual needs. Just as with other forms of therapy, an interdisciplinary approach, with cooperation from other health-care providers, is often required to facilitate a complete recovery from a neurological event.

Feel free to contact us with any further questions you may have. Acworth Family Eyecare serves patients from Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and throughout Acworth.

 

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Nystagmus — Is That a Super Villain or Something?

close up photo of a clown 2970498Although the word “Nystagmus” sounds like something out of a comic book, it actually refers to a condition characterized by repetitive involuntary eye movements. The eyes may move from side to side, up and down, or in circular motions. Those affected by nystagmus will often experience reduced vision and difficulty with depth perception, balance, and coordination due to the unstable vision. At Acworth Family Eyecare, we treat a wide range of eye conditions— including nystagmus—with our neuro-optometric rehabilitation program.

Types of Nystagmus

Congenital Nystagmus

Nystagmus can begin in infancy, affecting babies as young as 2 or 3 months of age. With infantile nystagmus, the eye movements tend to be horizontal. In many cases, no treatment is required and the condition will fade on its own.

Spasmus Nutans

This form of nystagmus develops in children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years and will likely improve without any medical intervention by age 8. Children affected by this type of nystagmus will exhibit eye movements in any direction, and may tilt or nod their heads to compensate for the unstable vision.

Acquired

Acquired nystagmus develops later on in childhood or adulthood and is often associated with problems in the central nervous system or metabolic disorders.

What Can Cause Nystagmus?

Nystagmus is generally caused by a neurological problem but can also be a symptom of another disease or condition. Additionally, several factors can worsen the condition, such as stress and fatigue.

Other causes include:

  • Albinism
  • Very high myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism
  • Underdeveloped eye movement control
  • Inner ear inflammation
  • Certain medications
  • Congenital cataracts

Nystagmus Treatments

In rare cases of nystagmus, surgery may aid in improving vision by changing the position of the eye muscles that control their movement.

A more holistic approach to treating nystagmus is through neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy. Recent research has shown that this specialized form of vision therapy improves visual function in most patients with nystagmus. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy refines and improves visual skills by strengthening the brain’s control over the eyes, thereby treating the problem at its source.

Acworth Family Eyecare offers the latest in neuro-optometric rehabilitation and treats patients with several forms of visual disorders, including nystagmus. If you or a loved one are affected by this eye condition, speak with our doctors to learn how we can help.

Acworth Family Eyecare serves patients from Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and throughout Georgia.

 

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Is It Normal To Have Long-Lasting Symptoms After A Head Injury?

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair 897817Perhaps you can relate to one of these scenarios:

After sustaining a mild head injury in a car accident, you now have trouble focusing any time you try to read. You can’t concentrate and feel the need to shut or cover your eyes to find some relief.

Or maybe your child fell and took a blow to the head while playing sports and has complained of headaches ever since. Traditional headache remedies just aren’t effective, and your primary care doctor assures you that no obvious brain damage has occurred and that the headaches will resolve shortly — but they persist.

For the estimated 1.5 million Americans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year, these scenarios are typical of post-TBI struggles. Concussions and other forms of TBI can seriously impact lives by generating long-lasting symptoms. Fortunately, a neuro-optometrist can provide a crucial component to the healing process with neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.

If you or a loved one has suffered even a mild TBI, call Acworth Family Eyecare to schedule a functional visual evaluation and determine if you can benefit from neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.

What Types of Symptoms Follow a Head Injury?

The brain controls much of what goes on in our bodies, so it’s no surprise that a TBI can produce a wide range of symptoms. Below we’ll discuss the most common symptoms and how we can help treat them.

Visual Difficulties

Approximately 90% of all TBIs result in some degree of visual dysfunction. When the eye-brain connection is disrupted, a decrease in visual ability results. Some visual difficulties that may follow a TBI include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Convergence insufficiency — the inability of the eyes to focus on a near object
  • Binocular vision disorder — eye turn or lazy eye
  • Problems with eye-tracking or eye-teaming
  • Difficulty reading or often losing your place while reading
  • Color contrast issues
  • Peripheral vision defects
  • Eye strain or tired eyes
  • Decreased visual acuity

Headaches and Migraines

In many cases, headaches, including migraines, can be caused by a visual dysfunction. Following a TBI, the ocular muscles will need to exert extra effort to compensate for trauma to the visual system. This additional effort can lead to eye strain.and cause pain in the temples and forehead similar to —and often mistaken for— a tension headache or migraine. Correcting the visual problem will, in many cases, alleviate the intensity and frequency of headaches, or eliminate them entirely.

Dizziness and Balance Problems

The eyes provide the brain with vital information regarding balance and coordination, so when the eye-brain connection is affected you may feel off-balance. This is especially true when a binocular vision disorder is present. Even the slightest misalignment of the eyes can make you feel dizzy, light-headed, or lose balance. Small degrees of misalignment can often be overlooked during routine eye exams, making it all the more important to see a neuro-optometrist in the presence of symptoms.

Concentration

Another possible after-effect of a concussion or other TBI is difficulty concentrating, especially when reading. It may be challenging to keep your place on the page or smoothly navigate along a sentence without having to stop and close your eyes momentarily for relief. Other potential challenges include problems with comprehension, memory difficulties, or trouble with multitasking.

Is It Normal To Have Long-Lasting Symptoms After A Head Injury? generic from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

How A Neuro-Optometrist Can Help

Neuro-optometrists are Doctors of Optometry (OD) who’ve been through postgraduate training to assess and treat visual disorders related to TBI and other similar conditions. The goal of neuro-optometric rehabilitation is to retrain the eyes and brain to work in unison and regain clear and comfortable vision by using specific visual exercises. Just as with any other rehabilitation therapy, the earlier one starts the rehabilitation program following a TBI, the higher the chance of recovering lost visual skills.

Acworth Family Eyecare provides neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy and other services to patients from Acworth, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and throughout Georgia.

https://www.theraspecs.com/blog/long-term-effects-of-moderate-severe-traumatic-brain-injuries-tbi/

https://www.aao.org/eyenet/article/traumatic-brain-injury-visual-disorders-what-every-2

http://uwmsktc.washington.edu/sites/uwmsktc/files/files/TBI_cognitive.pdf

 

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Tips to Avoid a Concussion or TBI

close up eye lips 640

The complexity of the brain is truly fascinating; any slight change in its chemistry or structural integrity can result in a multitude of health problems, such as visual disturbances or permanent vision loss. This can affect everyday activities such as driving, walking, reading, using a computer, and staying focused. Below we’ll discuss what traumatic brain injury is and how to avoid one.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is an injury to the brain caused by physical trauma, typically a sudden blow or bump to the head.

Concussions — a mild form of brain injury — are very common and makeup 75% of all TBI incidents. A concussion involves a short loss of normal brain function, as the hit can cause the brain to bounce around in rapid motion within the skull, occasionally causing chemical changes or damaging brain cells.

Moderate to severe TBIs cause the victim to lose consciousness from a few minutes to several hours. This can impact cognitive capacity along with other visual symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty reading and writing
  • Partial or total loss of vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Weakened eye muscles

There are numerous ways a TBI can occur, most of which are activities most of us do on a daily basis.

What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury?

Head injuries that cause TBI can happen during everyday activities such as running, hiking, swimming, or competitive sports.

The most common causes of TBIs are:

  • Sports injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Being struck by an object

TBIs are more common than one would expect, affecting 10 million individuals around the globe annually. Below we’ll discuss what steps to take in order to prevent a TBI.

Tips for Avoiding Concussion and TBI

ski kidsOne of the best ways to protect against a concussion or TBI is to avoid any risky behavior. While this isn’t always possible, there are some steps you can take to protect your brain and eyes from trauma and damage.

Here are our top four tips:

1) Wear Protective Sports Gear

There are 3.8 million TBIs occurring each year in the US, and 20% are from sports. Wearing protective helmets and eyewear when playing basketball, baseball, or football can help prevent serious injuries, especially in children.

Speak with our doctors about shatter-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex lenses, known for their impact-resistant materials.

2) Wear Sunglasses

Sun glare can cause momentary blindness. It’s that quick second of feeling blinded by the sun while you’re outside, driving in a car, or at the beach that can make you vulnerable to injury. An easy way to guard against this is by wearing sunglasses.

Sunglasses with polarized lenses prevent glare from entering your eyes by blocking strong light that reflects off surfaces such as glass, water, snow, sand, or pavement. Make sure that the sunglasses you choose contain 100% UV-blocking protection. Photochromic lenses are a smart option for those with prescription eyeglasses, as they darken when outside and revert back to clear lenses when indoors.

3) Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

As obvious as this may sound, people often forget to pay close attention to their surrounding environment. We all know that talking on the phone or texting while driving is dangerous, but being unaware of what’s happening around you can pose certain risks as well. Try to reduce your distractions when walking, driving, or performing any extraneous labor. When outdoors, be on the lookout for sharp objects or debris that can pose a risk.

4) Don’t Forget to Wear Your Seatbelt

Parents and doctors have been drumming it into our heads for years, and for good reason! The #1 way to prevent or reduce car accident injuries is by wearing a seatbelt. According to The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.6 million American drivers and passengers were treated in hospital emergency rooms for car accident-related injuries in 2016. Transport Canada estimates that 25% of car accidents where victims were not wearing seat belts resulted in serious injuries, while 55% were fatal. In fact, car accidents are the number one cause of TBI-related deaths in America, especially among adults aged 20-24.

How a TBI Affects Vision

A TBI can negatively impact your vision, leading to sensitivity to light, blurry or double vision, or persistent eyestrain. In many cases, certain types of activities that were easier before the TBI suddenly become difficult. These include reading a book, driving a car, or watching TV.

Studies show that about 90% of TBI patients suffer from such visual dysfunctions, making it all the more critical to take precautionary measures in staying safe.

If you or a loved one displays any of these symptoms following a TBI, contact Acworth Family Eyecare right away. our doctors can offer a neuro-optometric rehabilitation program to help regain any visual skills that were lost. Feel free to call us with any questions you may have – we’re here for you.

REFERENCES

https://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/severe-tbi-symptoms/

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/concussion-tbi.htm

https://noravisionrehab.org/patients-caregivers/facts-and-figures

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbelts/facts.html

https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/road/publications/canadian-motor-vehicle-traffic-collision-statistics-2016.html

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