2 Most Common Vision Problems for Individuals with a TBI
While there are many indications of a traumatic brain injury, vision problems seem to be quite prevalent amongst this particular population. This is because the jarring motion that the head and brain experienced during the injury often impacts vision, either temporarily or permanently. As such, it is important to understand the two most common types of vision problems affecting individuals with a TBI and how to properly handle them.
Visual Acuity Loss
Visual acuity is the measure of how well a person can see with the naked eye. An easy way to think about this is to look at a person who wears glasses. As soon as the glasses are removed, sight will be adversely impacted. This is referred to as a loss of visual acuity. Many people who suffer from a brain injury will encounter at least some degree of visual acuity loss. For some it might be relatively minor, while for others it can result in blindness in extreme situations.
You might be wondering what causes a loss of visual acuity in the first place. When it comes to brain injuries, the loss occurs due to certain nerve fibers that are responsible from carrying signals to the retina becoming damaged in some way. This is why a person who had perfectly normal vision prior to the injury may suddenly encounter difficulty with their vision. In many cases, this can be treated with eyeglasses, while surgery may and years of rehabilitation may be needed for others.
Visual Field Loss
Understanding visual field loss and how it can impact certain people with a traumatic brain injury is a bit more difficult. This type of vision loss means that you lose a certain part of your vision when going around in a circle. You can think of a pizza for this type of vision. The part of the pizza that you can no longer see is referred to as your visual field loss. There are four main types of visual field loss that we need to be concerned about here.
- Hemianopsia – This means that half of the person’s visual field is compromised. This will result in a complete loss of vision either vertically or horizontally.
- Quadranopsia – If a person has this level of visual field loss, that means that a quarter of the circular field is gone.
- Homonymous Hemianopsia – This results in the same half or quarter field loss in both eyes.
- Bitemporal Hemianopsia –