CONCUSSIONS AND THE EYES By Dr. James Ivanoski, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Football is my favorite sport and the Green Bay Packers are my favorite team. Football is, however, a violent contact sport. In the past few years there has been a lot of emphasis on the study traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussions along with their short and long term effects. Any of us can get a concussion from a head injury and the symptoms of a concussion can last long after the injury. Post-concussion syndrome can affect the eyes in many ways.
Concussions can cause light sensitivity, difficulty focusing, double vision, pupils to be different sizes, difficulty reading, poor hand-eye coordination, jerky eye movements, poor depth perception and poor visual recognition memory. These symptoms can make life difficult and are often very subtle. A lot of these visual skills are necessary for daily activities like digital device usage, sports performance, reading, walking, and driving.
Light sensitivity can be helped with tinted lenses. Sometimes the light sensitivity after a concussion can even make indoor lighting unbearable. Using a visor, wearing light tinted lenses, and bi-nasal occlusion (putting small strips of tape on glasses close to the nose) can help with light sensitivity. Sometimes a doctor’s excuse is needed to wear tinted lenses or a visor indoors at school or work.
Headaches from post-concussion syndrome can be worsened due to eyestrain from focusing and eye movement problems. Sometimes weak reading glasses to help focusing can help reduce eye strain. Occasionally something called prisms needs to be added to glasses to help the eyes work better together. Optometrists and ophthalmologists can be an important part of your medical team to help manage post-concussion syndrome, on or off the football field.
Dr. James Ivanoski is an optometrist practicing at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. Mark German. He welcomes patients of all ages into his practice and accepts most insurance plans.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.