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Can a Brain Injury Affect Vision?

Woman with Brain Injury on the CouchIf you’ve been experiencing blurry vision, double vision or other visual symptoms following a car accident, serious fall or blow to the head, it’s almost certainly a result of your traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, up to 90% of people with TBIs have disrupted vision that can last days, weeks, months and even years after their accident.

Schedule an appointment with a neuro-optometrist in in Our practice serves patients from Austin, Waco, Round Rock, and Buda/Kyle, Texas and surrounding communities. to diagnose and treat the symptoms of post traumatic vision syndrome.

Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Cause Vision Problems?

Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries affect 10 million people worldwide every year, with falls, car accidents and sports injuries as its leading causes.

Visual problems caused by traumatic brain injury often go undiagnosed in the rush to treat more urgent injuries, such as a brain bleed or facial lacerations. And in some cases, visual problems may even begin later.

Here's what we mean by vision problems:

Vision isn’t just about eyesight. For the visual system to work properly, there must be accurate communication between the eyes and the brain. A TBI can damage the neural connections between the eyes and the brain, causing significant visual deficits.

When a fall or other blow to the head causes the soft brain to suddenly impact the hard skull cavity, this violent movement can damage fragile cranial nerves and brain cells, resulting in severe damage. This damage makes it more difficult for neural pathways to transmit clear and accurate messages to the brain and results in a range of debilitating symptoms.

Visual Problems After a Brain Injury

A TBI can cause the following visual symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye strain

A TBI can also cause problems with visual skills, including:

  • Eye teaming – eyes not working together efficiently
  • Visual acuity – difficulty seeing near or far away objects
  • Focusing – trouble maintaining clear vision or transitioning focus from one object to another
  • Disrupted eye movements – having a hard time tracking something with your eyes
  • Motion sensitivity – diminished ability to see things clearly when you’re moving. You may experience dizziness and motion sickness
  • Limited visual field – peripheral vision loss

Can I Improve My Vision After a TBI?

If you have post-traumatic vision symptoms, make sure you schedule an appointment with a neuro-optometrist, who will give you an assessment to identify problems and prescribe a neuro-optometric treatment program to improve your vision.

A neuro-optometric treatment program may include:

  • Prism lenses
  • Prescription lenses
  • Neuro-optometric therapy – eye exercises to retrain your eyes, nervous system and brain to communicate effectively
  • Syntonic phototherapy – balances the autonomic nervous system using light therapy.

Are you experiencing visual problems since your accident? If you want to feel and see better, schedule a functional eye exam at today!

Our practice serves patients from Austin, Waco, Round Rock, and Buda/Kyle, Texas and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Denise Smith

Q: Can whiplash after a car accident cause vision problems?

  • A: Whiplash occurs when a collision quickly thrusts your neck forward and back. But whiplash doesn’t just affect the neck. It can also impact your brain and cranial nerves. If you have whiplash and are experiencing blurred vision, dizziness or other vision disruptions, schedule an appointment at to see if you can benefit from neuro-optometric therapy.

Q: Can a neuro-optometrist treat vision problems related to vestibular dysfunction?

  • A: Dizziness and motion sickness after head trauma can be the result of vestibular dysfunction, damage to the inner ear and sections of the brain stem. You may experience blurry vision, dizziness, vertigo and lack of coordination. If you have any of these symptoms, contact us at to schedule a neuro-optometric eye exam.


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