Tips To Avoid Vision Problems Post Concussion
The human brain is a tricky thing. It controls so much of what we do, how we think, what we feel, and how we move. It’s often compared to a computer that captures images and processes information, which allows us to understand the things we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch in the world around us.
When the brain is damaged – even mildly – it can result in health problems, including vision. This can affect everyday activities like driving, walking, reading, using a computer, and even your ability to concentrate and stay focused. That’s why it’s so critical to protect against a Traumatic Brain Injury.
What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?
A Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is an injury to the brain caused by physical trauma, typically a sudden blow or bump to the head.
Examples of TBIs include:
- Skull fracture
How Does A Traumatic Brain Injury Happen?
TBIs occur as a result of a head injury. They can happen during everyday activities like running, hiking, swimming, or during competitive sports.
The most common causes of TBIs are:
- Sports injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents
Tips For Avoiding Vision Problems After A Concussion Or Other TBI
One of the best ways to protect against a concussion or other TBI and the resulting vision problems is by avoiding them, to begin with. While this isn’t always possible, there are some steps you can take to protect your eyes and ensure continued healthy vision.
Here are our top tips:
1) Wear Protective Gear For Sports
There are 3.8 million TBIs occurring each year in the US, and 20% are from sports. Wearing protective eyewear when playing basketball, baseball, or football can help prevent serious eye injuries, especially important for children. Talk to Chris A. Smiley, OD about shatter-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex lenses, known for their impact-resistant materials.
2) Wear Protective Eyewear
Strong glare from the sun can cause momentary blindness. It’s that quick second of feeling blinded by the sun while you’re outside, driving in a car, or at the beach that can make you vulnerable to injury. An easy way to guard against this is by wearing protective eyewear.
Polarized lenses prevent glare from entering your eyes by blocking strong light that reflects off surfaces like glass, water, snow, sand, or pavement. Make sure that the sunglasses you choose contain sufficient UV ray blocking protection. Photochromic lenses are a smart option for those with prescription eyeglasses: they darken when you go outside, and they revert back when you go inside.
3) Pay Attention
Pay close attention to your immediate environment. We all know that talking on the phone or texting while driving is dangerous, but being unaware of what’s going on around you can be risky, too. When spending time outdoors, be on the lookout for rocks or sharp objects.
4) Wear Seatbelts
Parents and doctors say it all the time, and they’re right. The #1 way to prevent or reduce car accident injuries is by wearing a seatbelt. According to the CDC, (The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 2.6 million American drivers and passengers were treated in hospital emergency rooms for car accident-related injuries in 2016. Transport Canada estimates that 25% of car accidents where victims had not worn seat belts resulted in serious injuries, while 55% were fatal.
How A TBI Affects Vision
A TBI can negatively impact your vision by causing sensitivity to light, blurry or double vision, or persistent eyestrain. In many cases, certain types of activities that were easier before the TBI suddenly become difficult. This includes reading a book, driving a car, or watching TV.
Studies show that at least 50% of TBI patients suffer from these kinds of visual impairments, which is why it’s so important to avoid vision problems after suffering a TBI.
If you or a loved one displays any of these symptoms following a TBI, contact Vision Professionals right away.