Traumatic Injury

Accurate vision involves much more than good eye health. The brain integrates signals from the eyes with information from the motor, balance, and auditory systems to create an accurate view of the world. Following traumatic injury, one or more components of this complex system may be damaged. Receiving a thorough vision assessment following a traumatic injury can speed treatment of visual deficits as well as overall recovery.

Anatomy of the Visual System

Vision begins when light enters each eye, stimulating cells on the back of the eyeball. These signals are summed and sent through the optic nerve extending from the back of each eye. The optic nerves cross over to the opposite side of the brain before relaying visual information to the occipital lobe, found in the very back of the head. Here, visual information undergoes more complex processing to identify objects, see movement, and visualize color. Damage to any part of this pathway -- from direct trauma to the eyes themselves to head injury -- may disrupt accurate visual processing.

Potential Vision Problems Following Traumatic Injury

Depending on the part of the head affected, a variety of vision problems may arise following a traumatic injury. Some common issues include:

Treatment Options

While certain vision problems can be easily treated with corrective lenses, others may require vision therapy. A vision therapist will work with you to practice skills to improve coordination of eye signals with behavioral responses. Although some visual skills take months or even years to fully recover, practicing daily improves the likelihood of a full recovery.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Pinguecula and Pterygium (Surfer's Eye)

Characterized by a yellowish raised part of the scleral conjunctiva (the lining of the white part of the eye), a pinguecula usually develops near the cornea (colored part of the eye), but does not extend past it.

Uveitis

Uveitis refers to the inflammation of the eye's middle layer, which consists of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. Several fungal, viral, or bacterial infections lead to uveitis, as do certain autoimmune (systemic) and inflammatory conditions...

Glare and Halos

Glare and halos are both eye symptoms that some people experience around bright lights. Halos show up as bright circles around a light source. Glare is light that interferes with your vision, making it difficult to see or sometimes making your eyes water.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States, making it an important public health priority. Although there are several factors that cause glaucoma, all types of glaucoma are characterized by damage to the optic nerve...

Sjogren's Syndrome

Pronounced SHOW-grins, Sjogren's syndrome is a disorder of the immune system, or an autoimmune disease, which causes the body's immune system to attack and harm the body's glands...

Optic Neuritis

Also known as demyelinating optic neuritis, optic neuritis refers to the inflammation of the optic nerve due to the loss of or damage to a protective covering called myelin, which surrounds the optic nerve...