How Brain Injuries Can Affect Your Eyesight

   
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March 04, 2019, by Bard Optical

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Did you know that brain injuries contribute to roughly one-third of all injury deaths in the United States?

The CDC reports that 153 people in the U.S. die every day from injuries that include traumatic brain injury (TBI).  

Traumatic brain injuries are when the brain’s normal function is disrupted by a “bump, blow, or jolt.”

Let’s take a look at the types of brain injuries, their symptoms, and how they affect your eyesight.

What Kinds Of Brain Injuries Are There?

There are two types of brain injuries.

Traumatic brain injuries—often suffered resulting in a concussion—can occur with either of these actions:

  1. Shaking - Infants and small children who are shaken may suffer a TBI.
  2. Blows to the head - A vehicle accident, a fall, an assault, or a sports-related accident are all potential causes of TBI.

Acquired brain injuries occur at the cellular level. An example of this is a tumor or a stroke that puts pressure on the brain.

How Do Brain Injuries Affect Vision?

A brain injury can affect your vision in a number of ways. Some symptoms appear rapidly, while some may take awhile to become known.

Signs and symptoms of a brain injury include:

  • Changes in vision—blurriness or fuzziness, double vision, and loss of visual field Difficulties with eye movement
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Balance issues
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Headaches, especially when reading
  • Inability to maintain visual contact or focus
  • Motion sickness or nausea when changing focus quickly 

You may experience one or more of these symptoms.

In addition to affecting your vision, TBIs and concussions can alter how you think or remember, how you sleep and your energy levels, and may result in nausea or vomiting.

 

How Do You Treat Eyesight Damage From Brain Injuries? 

If you think you’ve suffered a brain injury, please contact your eye doctor right away.

However, some situations are considered an emergency that can’t wait for you to make an appointment. These are:

  • When one pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) is larger than the other.
  • When the person is having convulsions or seizures.
  • When the person cannot recognize people or places.

If you’re experiencing signs and symptoms of a brain injury, please contact a medical professional as soon as possible.

 

How Can You Protect Yourself From A Brain Injury? 

Protecting yourself from a brain injury starts with knowing some of the risk factors.

The leading cause of TBI is falling, according to the CDC. Falls accounted for nearly half of all emergency department visits. Falling most affected those aged 0-14 years and 65 years and older.

The second-most cause of TBIs is being struck by or against an object, followed by motor vehicle crashes and intentional self-harm. 

Finally, assaults were the leading cause of death for children ages 0-4 years. 

As a result, the following list contains recommendations for avoiding brain injuries.

  • Don’t shake a child.
  • Install window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows.
  • Install shock-absorbing material on playgrounds.
  • Wear helmets and goggles during sports games or practice.
  • Wear seatbelts.
  • Drive carefully.
  • Use a stepstool when reaching for a high item.
  • Install handrails on stairways.

Reduce your risk of having a traumatic brain injury affect your vision by following these safety measures.

Again, if you think you have a brain injury, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor or visit the emergency room right away.

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