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Concussions Can Cause Vision Problems

Vision problems resulting from concussions and other head injuries are often overlooked. An article on CNN reported that the concussion rates among youth have increased 71 percent since 2010. A study performed in 2015 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that 70 percent of young athletes who suffered a concussion had eye movement and eye coordination problems.  Problems with these visual skills can cause one to struggle with reading and learning, as well as balance and movement.

Many people don’t realize that the eyes are actually part of the brain. Because of that fact, when the brain is injured—for example, with a concussion or other acquired brain injury—vision is also likely to be affected. Some symptoms that can occur when vision problems are a result of a concussion include: double or blurred vision, headaches, dizziness or nausea, side (peripheral) vision loss, difficulty shifting focus from near to far, losing place when reading and comprehension problems when reading.

A concussion is actually considered a mild traumatic brain injury, even if one isn’t knocked unconscious. Young athletes like to “tough it out” and get back in the game as soon as possible, so unless the injury is severe, they may not tell someone what happened. A concussion or brain injury may require visual rehabilitation.

The diagnosis and treatment of these types of vision problems is an optometric specialty service which Dr. Rob Lauver, OD, FCOVD has provided for more than 10 years. Connect at See ad, page 42 and 52.

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