Any incident resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to massive life changes as you adapt to a new normal. Some of those changes are often unexpected, like difficulties with everyday tasks such as reading or driving if your vision is impaired.
Vision problems are often experienced by members of the armed forces serving abroad who suffer TBIs after being struck in blasts. They can also be caused by much more mundane issues right here in Virginia, however, like a slip and fall, auto crash, workplace mishap, or other accidents caused by negligence.
Common TBI Vision Problems and Treatments
Because of the importance of the human brain in all daily functions, TBIs often have devastating results. For instance, damage to the optic nerve that relays visual information from your eye to your brain may prevent you from ever returning to work after your accident. Depending on the type and severity of your injury, you may end up experiencing any or all of these common TBI vision problems:
- Accommodative dysfunction (difficulty maintaining visual focus)
- Blindness in one or both eyes
- Blurry vision
- Decreased depth perception
- Difficulty reading text
- Double vision
- Headaches while reading, watching videos, or attempting to focus on close-up objects
- Light sensitivity
- Loss of peripheral vision range
- Motion sickness during visual tasks
- Sore eyes
If your TBI interferes with your vision, you may receive a referral to an optometrist or ophthalmologist directly after your initial doctor visit. Some eyesight problems caused by a traumatic brain injury are not immediately apparent, however, or they may be missed in the examination by an ER doctor after your accident. That’s why it's important to schedule a full vision examination sometime after your first visit to a doctor.
Vision Difficulties After a TBI Might Linger Longer Than You Think
While vision problems associated with traumatic brain injuries may clear up on their own over time, that is not always the case. Unfortunately, there are no reliable surgical or medical options for reversing damage to eyesight after a traumatic brain injury.
Medication may be prescribed to prevent problems from worsening, however, such as reducing swelling and pressure on the optic nerve. In cases where vision issues are unlikely to ever go away, you may have to learn coping mechanisms through rehabilitative therapy, such as:
- Changing surroundings to avoid visual overload
- Dimming lights or changing light sources to avoid eye pain
- Increasing color contrast by adding light and dark objects to your surroundings
- Taking breaks during visuals tasks and focusing on an object far away
- Wearing corrective lenses
How TBI Related Vision Problems Can Negatively Impact Daily Life
It isn’t hard to imagine how any combination of the most common TBI-caused vision problems can drastically alter your daily schedule. Many brain injury patients find it difficult to discern objects or written words at close range and may have to re-read a sentence multiple times for the letters to come together properly.
Vision issues can also cause tension in interpersonal relationships due to easy irritability caused by visual overload and eye pain. Problems with depth perception combined with a lack of peripheral vision may make it difficult to simply walk from point A to point B, creating a feeling like the ground is tilted.
In severe cases, these issues will impair driving ability, or make it impossible to safely drive yourself at all. Those problems springing from a brain injury may further be accompanied by a host of cognitive difficulties that impact speech and problem-solving abilities.
Don't Let Vision Difficulties After a Traumatic Brain Injury Continue to Dictate Your Life
Whether you are dealing with minor or severe vision problems after a TBI, it is critical to consult an attorney for the best chance at recovering damages for your injury. A lawyer with deep knowledge of TBI cases can negotiate with an insurance company for a settlement or gather evidence and medical records to bring a case directly against the negligent party responsible for your pain and suffering.