Understanding How TBI Can Affect Your Vision
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims often experience a wide range of physical and sensory effects, including visual disturbances, such as blurred or double vision. Some of these symptoms can require ongoing, costly medical care. Personal injury attorneys Elizabeth M. Quick and Matthew Quick at Quick Law Group, PLLC, in Bellevue, WA, have been representing victims of brain injuries in the community for over a decade. Our legal team has an in-depth understanding of how TBIs affect your vision and work with specialists to fully calculate the effects on your quality of life.
Vision Problems Following TBI
Visual processes are connected to many areas of the brain, making it likely that TBI victims will experience vision-related symptoms. Additionally, head injuries can damage the delicate muscles and nerves surrounding the eyes, leading to vision disturbances.
The most common visual symptoms of brain injuries include:
- Double vision
- Poor eye tracking ability
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty shifting gaze from one point to another
- Poor eye teaming, or the ability to focus both eyes on one object
- Eye strain
- Light sensitivity
- Peripheral vision problems
- Difficulty reading
Your eyes might also hurt or ache, or tear more than usual.
Issues with Visual Processing
The brain’s ability to process visual information may also be compromised by TBI. As such, common, everyday tasks that rely on good vision can be impaired. Sufferers may experience:
- Poor depth perception
- Problems with spatial orientation
- Trouble balancing
- Poor posture
- Inability to properly judge the location of objects
- Poor handwriting
A Closer Look at the Visual System
How we view and interact with our surroundings is largely affected by two visual processing symptoms: the focal pathway, or your central vision, and your peripheral vision and the ambient process. Peripheral vision allows you to see objects outside the point of focus and is closely tied to a visual process called the ambient process. This process takes information from a variety of sources to inform orientation and movement.
After a TBI, your visual system cannot match information from the ambient pathway with your focal pathway (or central vision) and other elements of the visual system. The result is problems with movement, balance, coordination, and posture. For example, victims may notice they have trouble walking down the middle of a hallway, driving confidently, or climbing steps.
Diagnosing & Treating Vision Problems
If you have noticed vision disturbances or your primary care provider is concerned, you may be referred to an optometrist or ophthalmologist. A series of standard visual tests will be run, such as:
- Cover one eye at a time to detect ocular deviation
- Pursuit tests to measure eye tracking
- Screening to assess how well the eyes converge on a single object
Additionally, you may need to see a neuro-optometrist or neuro-ophthalmologist. These highly trained specialists can further assess for brain injury-related vision problems.
Our attorneys work with medical professionals who can fully assess your condition. We will fight for nothing less than full compensation to manage the effects of a TBI.
Receiving immediate medical care is critical to managing and potentially overcoming vision problems caused by TBI. While success rates vary, most patients experience some relief from symptoms and can return to normal or close to normal functioning with treatment. Treatment may involve corrective glasses, such as prism glasses, patching an eye or part of your visual field, or vision therapy.
Learn More about Managing Your Condition
If you have suffered a brain injury due to another party's negligence or recklessness, the attorneys at Quick Law Group can provide you with legal guidance. We work with professionals who can fully assess your condition and will fight for nothing less than full compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation, and more. Schedule a complimentary consultation today by calling (425) 576-8150 or messaging us online.