Photophobia and Traumatic Brain Injury

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Photophobia and Traumatic Brain Injury

Photophobia and Traumatic Brain InjuryA report by Optometry Review published in December 2015 explored common vision problems, especially photophobia, that occur after a traumatic brain injury. The report was prepared by Christopher L. Shur, OD, and several other eye doctors. To determine the severity of at TBI (mild to severe), doctors usually use a Glasgow coma scale. According to the report, 75% of people who experience TBI have a mild TBI, also commonly called a concussion. Signs of a TBI include vision difficulties, headaches, a visible wound, confusion, cognitive impairments, loss of muscle function, memory loss, and headaches

Common vision problems associated with a mild TBI

Vision disorders include:

  • Photophobia – increased sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Changes in color vision
  • Eye strain
  • Visual field defects

Visual problems can make it hard for the patient to go back to work, conduct daily activities, and do the rehabilitation necessary to treat other TBI difficulties.

Photophobia is the most common visual complaint following a traumatic brain injury. Some victims are sensitive to all forms of light while other patients are sensitive to specific forms, such as outdoor sunlight or fluorescent light indoors. According to the report, some suspected physical causes of photophobia are a change in the visual ability to “adapt to prolonged light.” Difficulties with fluorescent lighting may be due to an unusual “critical flicker fusion frequency—the minimum light flicker frequency for an individual to perceive a steady (non-flickering) presentation of light.”

Photophobia treatment includes taking a full oral history of the patient. Filters and visors can help provide a better lighting experience. Changing the light from fluorescent to LED lighting or incandescent lighting may help. Sunglasses may be a remedy.

Some ocular damage may also have occurred. Damage to the corner and other parts of the eye should be studied to see if there is an underlying cause. Once a diagnosis is made, treatments can include eye surgery and medications.

At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm our Nashville, Hendersonville, and Knoxville TBI attorneys understand how devastating a traumatic brain injury is. Victims need to see many different types of doctors and therapists to manage their pain, their cognitive impairments, and their emotional difficulties. Our Gladiators in Suits fight to get victims compensation for their pain and suffering, medical care, lost wages, and other damages. To speak with a lawyer, please call us at 615-246-5549 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment.