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Traumatic Brain Injury, Headaches & Dizziness

Traumatic Brain Injuries and Vision Problems

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur from a fall, collision, sports accident or any other event that causes a sudden jolt or strike to the head. Any degree of brain injury — even a mild concussion — can interfere with the normal functioning of the brain and lead to vision problems.

During a brain injury, the parts of the brain responsible for vision and balance can become damaged. Often, a TBI affects the pathways between the eyes and the brain, making it difficult for them to communicate. In fact, more than 90% of TBI’s result in some degree of visual dysfunction.

How Does a Brain Injury Cause BVD?

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) occurs when a brain injury causes eye misalignment, weakening the communication between the eyes and the brain. Eye misalignment can cause confusion within the visual system, as two different images are sent to the brain for processing.

To produce a single, clear image, the eyes are forced to work harder—often resulting in eye strain and frequent headaches. The increased strain on the eye muscles can also lead the eyes to shake from fatigue, which can bring on dizziness.

Why Is a BVD Exam Important?

Eye misalignment from a TBI can be so subtle that it often goes undetected during the exam the patient undergoes immediately following the traumatic event. Furthermore, vision problems may only surface weeks or months following a TBI.

If you have recently suffered a TBI, it is crucial to be examined by a neuro-optometrist, who can assess your vision and eye health to detect signs of visual dysfunction that other healthcare professionals often miss.

During a BVD eye exam, your entire visual system will be assessed to determine whether eye misalignment may be contributing to your headaches and dizziness.

How Can Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Help?

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is a specialized program that aims to strengthen the communication between the eyes and brain to improve the visual skills affected by a TBI.

In many cases, those having suffered a TBI have tried several different therapies and medications, yet experience little to no change in the frequency and severity of their symptoms.

“I was riding my motorcycle and was hit from behind. The years that followed were filled with excruciating pain; I couldn’t cut the grass, cook, or do much of anything. Then, one of my therapists referred me to a BVD specialist. Once I inserted the trial lenses, the pain disappeared. This is the real deal!” – Roy

Each neuro-optometric program is customized to the individual needs of the patient and may include the use of eye exercises, prisms or therapeutic lenses to strengthen the visual skills and overall functioning of the visual system.

If you or a loved one has recently suffered a TBI or is experiencing frequent headaches or dizziness, contact Whetstone Eye Care for a comprehensive vision evaluation.

Whetstone Eye Care serves patients from Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, and Ave Maria, Florida and surrounding communities.

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