Vision

Vision

2 August 2022

What is vision?

Vision is not just about seeing clearly at a distance (“20/20). There are two aspects of vision that work together of a regular basis:

Seeing fine details = central or focal vision.

Information about our surroundings, where we are in space, where objects are relative to us, and how we would like to move through space = peripheral or spatial vision. This includes interplay of vision, body position, posture, and the balance system.

Why does concussion disrupt vision?

Over 50% of our brain is dedicated to vision and vision processing, and 80% of all sensory processing in the entire body is directly affected by information coming in from the eyes. Thus, it is not surprising that a concussion affects the visual system in some way.

What is vision difficulty?

Vision difficulty is not limited to “seeing double” or “blurred vision”, it could be things problems with peripheral vision (i.e., at the sides), or discomfort in busy environments. These issues can impact daily function, including work, social, and recreational activities.

What are common symptoms if you have trouble with vision?

Symptoms can vary from individual to individual, and can include any of or a combination of the following:

  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • difficulty with reading, computer work, and/or scrolling on a phone (can also include losing one’s place or re-reading the same line)
  • blurry vision
  • double vision
  • balance and depth perception issues
  • light sensitivity
  • motion sensitivity
  • discomfort in crowded or busy areas; bothered by busy patterns
  • reduced sense of where body is in space and reduced confidence navigating through space
  • impaired ability to process visual information
  • memory issues: difficulty recalling what was read, or seen

What can I do to get better if I have these problems?

Completing rehabilitation exercises can be helpful. This can be accomplished with consistent completions of at-home exercises and even regular in-clinic visits to reinforce and challenge skills. The best results are seen with patients who are motivated, dedicated, and compliant. If symptoms persist evaluation and treatment by an optometrist specializing in neuro-optometric rehabilitation may be warranted and could occur additional strategies such as specialized glasses with coloured tints, partial lens occlusion, etc.