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Concussion and Brain Injury

What is a concussion?

Concussions are a form of brain injury caused by a collision between the brain and the skull or a strain on the neural tissue and vasculature. This trauma to the head elicits a wave of structural and functional changes that damage the already fragile connections responsible for thinking, moving, and processing visual information.  As even a sudden jolting or whiplash can cause a concussion without a direct blow to the head or body, we know that any level of head injury (minor or major) can disrupt many aspects of vision.

Awareness of concussion and the medical community’s evolving knowledge of this specific form of brain damage has dramatically risen over the years. Not only are professional and amateur athletes now having to sit out for significantly longer before returning back to play, but the incidence of concussions is on an alarming incline.  All concussions are considered brain injuries and should be taken seriously.  Our mission is to maximize your recovery and help prevent the consequences of concussions that can lead to serious limitations in life.

What are common symptoms?

Some symptoms may arise right away after the injury, while others may not show up for days or even longer. Symptoms of a concussion vary from person to person, as no two head injuries are the same.

The most common symptoms include:

How do concussions affect vision?

Research suggests over 50% of patients with concussion or post-concussion syndrome have visual problems. Since vision is so pervasive throughout the brain and represented in every lobe, it’s more likely than not that vision will be impacted by a brain injury. When this is the case, the simplest tasks become daunting and activities of daily living are disrupted. Improving quality of life and recovering these visual abilities after a concussion requires re-establishing brain function. The concussed brain needs to learn how to coordinate, integrate, and filter information from all of the senses. Vision should be the dominant learning sense and the sense that ties together all of these systems to derive meaning from our world and direct the appropriate action.

What are common vision problems that can arise from concussion?

The most common visual diagnoses following a concussion and often associated with Post Concussion Syndrome are:


Most disorders of the visual systems following head trauma are highly treatable once identified. Treatment should be initiated as soon as possible if a problem is suspected in an effort to return to life as soon as possible. Treatment may include specialized glasses for reading or computer work, specially tinted lenses to reduce light sensitivity, and an individualized program of Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation. Without the appropriate treatment, visual problems likely will limit the opportunity to reach a full recovery. Schedule an evaluation with our vision rehabilitation team to get on the path of recovery today!

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