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Concussion, Brain Injury and Vision Therapy

A wide range of visual problems can result from concussion and brain injury.


Boy heading soccer ball vision therapy after concussion

Vision problems are very common after concussion, but not visual acuity (20/20) problems. A recent study that Dr. Gallaway and Dr. Gallaway-Beckett participated in at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) showed 69 percent of adolescents after concussion had one or more problems with eye teaming, focusing and tracking that made returning to school and sports more difficult. Another study found that 70% of adolescents still had one or more vision issues 4-12 weeks after a concussion.

 Vision therapy can be very effective in restoring normal visual function after concussion or brain injury.

Take the Concussion and Vision Quiz to understand if a brain injury is impacting your vision.

Given that over 50 percent of our brain’s neurons (full article) support our visual system, a wide range of visual problems can result from concussion and brain injury. Due to the complexity of the brain networks that control vision, even mild concussions can often cause the following symptoms:

  • double vision
  • blurred vision
  • eye strain and fatigue
  • headaches that intensify with use of the eyes
  • dizziness or nausea
  • difficulty tracking moving objects or loss of place when reading
  • light sensitivity
  • motion sensitivity

Stroke or more significant brain injury can also affect peripheral (side) vision and visual processing ability.

Fortunately, many visual problems after concussion will resolve within 3-4 weeks or less. Vision therapy, also referred to as neuro-optometric rehabilitation, can be very effective in cases where  visual symptoms persist, even when other symptoms such as dizziness or poor balance have resolved.

Read the blog of a young adult recovering from a serious brain injury with the help of vision therapy at  TBI Blog. The Concussion Project has information on vision problems after concussion and how vision therapy can help.

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