Traumatic Brain Injuries are common causes of undiagnosed vision symptoms. The brain is cushioned in a compartment but sudden changes in velocity can cause it to move slightly and cause axonal shearing (minute tearing of the nerves in the brain). People who have been in accidents, especially car accidents, often find their visual system seems disjointed days to weeks after the accident. They may have double vision, light sensitivity, poor focusing skills, difficulty reading, dry eyes, and a number of other eye problems. Even very low velocity accidents can result in trauma under the right circumstances.
Treatment is available. There are multiple modalities to treat dry eyes, special tints to reduce the photophobia (light sensitivity), special eyeglass corrections with prism to relieve double vision, and vision therapy (eye exercises) that can help alleviate other eye symptoms.
One of the outcomes of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq has been a large increase in eye injuries. Somewhere between 15-20% of evacuations have been due to eye injuries. Improved Body armor has led to survival of wounds that would have been lethal in the past but has left more veterans living with sight loss. There is currently increasing awareness in our military hospitals of traumatic brain injury eye problems.
Seat belts, helmets, and protective eyewear save lives and eyesight. Don’t be remiss in making sure your family is safe.
And this Memorial Day Holiday, consider a donation to the Veteran’s Plaza being planned for Spring Canyon Community in Fort Collins. Captain Diggs Brown is the visionary, planner, and fundraiser-see Veterans Plaza or Ray Martinez’s Commentary for more information on the Veterans Plaza in Sprng Canyon Park.
Be safe and see safe this holiday weekend!