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Brain Injury Evaluation

It’s not uncommon for people to have visual symptoms after a brain injury. In fact, the latest literature suggests that 50% of people who acquire a brain injury have some sort of visual side effect. Because 80% of information the brain receives from the outside world is through the visual system, it’s easy to see why.

After a brain injury, your vision becomes much more than just how clear you see and how healthy your eyes are. It’s also how hard your eyes need to work in order to see clearly (focusing skills, eye movement skills, and eye tracking skills), how well your brain starts to organize the visual information (depth perception, color vision, etc), how well your brain perceives the visual information (understands the visual information once it gets it), and how well your brain integrates the visual information with the rest of your brain and body (balance, poster, movement, memories, etc).

After a brain injury, patients may see perfectly clear and have perfectly healthy eyes, but still have complex vision issues that are affecting their recovery. Often times these patients are told, “There’s nothing you can do for your visual system. You just have to wait”. This is very far from the truth. There are rehabilitative methods used for the visual system just like any other system after brain injury. After a brain injury, for what other part of your body do people say, “Let’s just wait and see if it gets better on its own”? None. The visual system is no different. Inefficiencies of the visual system following a brain injury should be addressed as soon as possible, just like any other part of your body.

For more information regarding neuro-rehabilitation, go to

Vision related side effects of neurological impairment according to the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA)

  • Eye Movement Disorders with fixation, tracking
  • Eye Focusing Problems
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity/Photophobia
  • Field Loss
  • Peripheral Loss/Hemianopsia (Loss of half of the field of view to the right or left
  • Quadranopsias ( Loss of about 1/4 sector of the visual field)
  • Reading Disorders
  • Eye teaming/eye coordination problems
  • Small changes in refractive errors more significant
  • Nystagmus/Irregular eye movements
  • Lagophthalmos/Incomplete blink
  • Dry Eye – Decreased Blink Rate
  • Visual Hallucinations/formed objects/stars, aura
  • Convergence Problems
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Visual Perceptual Disturbances/visual processing problems
  • Disturbances in body image
  • Disturbances of spatial relationships
  • Right – Left discrimination problems
  • Agnosia – difficulty in object recognition
  • Apraxia – difficulty in manipulation of objects
  • Visual Memory Loss -especially short term memory
  • Visual dysfunctions causing dizziness and balance problems


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