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What Vision Changes are Often Associated with Concussion?
People with concussion can sometimes experience changes in their vision. Coordination of eye movements can be affected in subtle ways, producing symptoms such as dizziness and eye strain. Light sensitivity, difficulty tolerating screens, visual blurring and other symptoms can occur also.
Usually, these symptoms do not indicate any dangerous cause, and will improve gradually without treatment.
Treatment and improvement in other concussion symptoms, such as poor sleep, headaches/neck pain and mood/anxiety issues, often leads to improvement in visual symptoms as well.
When to Refer to a Specialist?
Choosing which treatments to try is best done in partnership with your family doctor. Your family doctor can assess vision symptoms and ensure there is nothing urgent or concerning going on. If needed, your family doctor may refer you to an eye doctor (optometrist, ophthalmologist, or neuro-ophthalmologist) for further assessment.
Being aware of visual symptoms, managing the triggers and treating other symptoms of concussion are often important in assessing and treating visual symptoms.
Common Treatment Principles
Gradual exposure is a good approach to light sensitivity. This principle is consistent with self-management strategies for many other concussion symptoms.
Making sure you have adequate lighting and good positioning for reading. Choosing a suitable font size when reading on the screen can reduce eye strain. Other treatments such as prescription glasses, prisms, and vision therapy can be considered by vision specialists, and usually require a referral from your family doctor.
Keep track of your visual symptoms, address other concussion symptoms and talk to your family doctor to develop a treatment plan for your vision.
If you experience a sudden and persistent change in your vision, it may not be related to your concussion. See a doctor right away.