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. Colette Whiting and Dr. Sandra Gillis-Kennedy will ask about your visual symptoms post-concussion and how your daily routine is affected. Then Dr. Colette Whiting and Dr. Sandra Gillis-Kennedy 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. Colette Whiting and Dr. Sandra Gillis-Kennedy 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 Shelburne Primary EyeCare, Dr. Colette Whiting and Dr. Sandra Gillis-Kennedy uses prisms for post-concussion patients in Shelburne, Melancthon, Alliston, Collingwood, and throughout Dufferin County.