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Traumatic brain injury is an injury cause by an assault to the brain by external forces. This type of injury is not degenerative (deteriorating with time or age) or congenital (hereditary).

Traumatic brain injury

We can divide traumatic brain injury into two categories, namely; primary and secondary injury. Primary injury occurs at the moment of trauma, while secondary injury occurs immediately after and causes either a concussion, coma or in extreme cases, death. It can also cause vision loss.

Vision and the brain

Vision is not only what we see, but how the brain makes sense of what we see. Similarly, our vision also plays a key role in how other parts of our body system function, namely; our thought process and movement. Most people are unaware that traumatic brain injury, which can sometimes differ from head injury, can have a serious effect on vision. Experts say that about 20-40% of traumatic brain injury affects vision, by either damaging parts of the brain involved with perception or visual processing or both.


Symptoms such as blurred vision, light sensitivity, reading struggles (words appear to move), comprehension difficulties, attention and concentration problems, memory difficulties, double vision, aching eyes, headaches with visual tasks, inability to maintain eye contact or focus, partial/total loss of the visual field (partial or total blindness), are all part of such trauma that can occur with injury to the brain.

Therefore, if you have present or past traumatic brain injury, and if any of the above symptoms exist, persist or seem to get worst, it is advisable to seek professional help from either an optometrist or ophthalmologist, who may then refer you for further examination to a neuro optometrist or neuro ophthalmologist. These are trained specialist able to handle vision problems because of traumatic brain injury. And they will give the treatment whether it is a curative or managerial.