Concussions Can Affect the Visual System
Concussions are brain injuries resulting from physical trauma, such as a car accident, a fall, or a collision while playing sports. Left untreated, they can adversely affect one’s health for months or years to come. Because the visual system relies on the brain, a concussion can cause:
- blurred vision
- double vision
- eyes misaligned while focusing
- sensitivity to light
- depth-perception problems
- balance problems
- difficulty reading
People who experience a concussion often sustain other injuries, so medical professionals may initially overlook visual problems. Fortunately, when these problems arise, vision therapy can help.
Prisms Aid in Vision Therapy
If you’ve suffered a concussion, Dr. John Dovie and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will ask about your visual symptoms post-concussion and how your daily routine is affected. Then Dr. John Dovie and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for severe optical consequences like retinal detachment or traumatic uveitis, and will evaluate your depth perception, binocular vision, and ability to focus.
Vision therapy for a concussion often includes the wearing of eyeglasses with prisms, which compensate for any changes to the visual system caused by the concussion. Prisms address spatial challenges — such as posture, depth perception, coordination, and balance — by shifting the perceived position of objects and adjusting part of the person’s visual field. You should begin to notice improvement while wearing prism eyeglasses during therapeutic exercises like walking in a corridor, taking heel-to-toe steps, and reading. If the concussion’s visual effects are more severe, Dr. John Dovie and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will prescribe prism eyeglasses for your daily use.
Prisms’ effects are real. One study found that prisms led to a 71.8 percent reduction of headache, dizziness, and anxiety symptoms in some patients with traumatic brain injury. That study also found that the use of prisms allows other post-concussion therapies — physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medication — to work more effectively.
That means a better quality of life.
At Blacksburg Eye Associates, Dr. John Dovie and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann uses prisms for post-concussion patients in Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, New River Valley, and throughout Virginia.