Research Reports - Visual impairments in the first year after traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2012 Aug 16

Greenwald BD, Kapoor N, Singh AD

Background: This article reviews literature regarding individuals with traumatic
brain injury who have vision related impairments up to one year, post-injury.
Such impairments may impact rehabilitation of activities of daily living and
mobility since vision is integral in much of what one does on a daily basis.
Methods: Search of Medline, Ovid, and PubMed was performed using terms including:
traumatic brain injury, visual deficits after brain injury, vision and traumatic
brain injury, and ADLs after brain injury. Results: Eighteen studies were
analyzed and reviewed. A range of visual and visual-motor impairments are seen
across the severity of traumatic brain injury. Visual impairment negatively
impacts independence in mobility and activities of daily living. Common
sensorimotor visual symptoms reported by those with traumatic brain injury
include blurred vision, reading problems, double vision or eyestrain, dizziness
or disequilibrium in visually-crowded environments, visual field defects, light
sensitivity, and color blindness. Conclusions: This review should alert the
reader to common visual complaints and defects seen after traumatic brain injury.
It is important to screen persons who have suffered traumatic brain injury for
sensorimotor vision deficits early on in recovery so that these issues may be
addressed and recovery of function and independence in the community are not
delayed.

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