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Brain Injury

Vision Changes after Optic Nerve Damage, and Brain Injury


Large numbers of Americans experience a traumatic brain injury a year. Falls, car, motorcycle or cycle accidents, sports injuries and violence are the most common cause of head trauma, which can lead to problems with vision, sensation, memory, concentration, and other aspects of a person’s life.

Common Vision Changes after Head Injury: Post-Trauma Vision Syndrome

Optic nerve injury can cause a range of vision changes that affect all aspects of sight. Head injury victims often display some or all of the following symptoms, which have been grouped under the heading of Post-Trauma Vision Syndrome. They include:

  • Reduction or loss of one half or one quarter of the visual field (hemianopia or quadrantanopia)
  • Blurred vision
  • Clumsiness
  • Decreased attentiveness and concentration
  • Difficulty distinguishing colors
  • Difficulty maintaining eye contact
  • Difficulty reading (words may appear to move, or patients may have difficulty keeping track of their place on the page)
  • Difficulty perceiving the spatial relationships between objects
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Headaches
  • Low blink rate, dry eyes, or staring behaviors
  • Memory difficulties
  • Poor visual memory (difficulty recognizing faces, letters, numbers, etc.)
  • Disorientation in large or busy places
  • Sensitivity to light

Treating Vision Changes after a Head Injury

Fortunately, rehabilitation efforts can usually lessen the impact of various impairments, including vision changes that often accompany head and optic nerve injury. Rehabilitation efforts focus on many aspects of a person’s life and may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and vision therapy.

Learn More about Optic Nerve Damage

To learn more about optic nerve damage and vision changes after a head injury or car accident, please email NovaVision or call NovaVision Patient Services toll-free at 1.888.205.0800. Browse this website for information about vision loss after stroke or brain injury, Vision Restoration Therapy research, and much more.