How Long Do Vision Problems Last After a Concussion?

Vision problems after a concussion can persist for days to months, depending on severity. Get expert care for "how long do vision problems last after a concussion?"

A concussion is a brain injury from a blow to the head or a sudden body jolt. It’s quite common, especially among young people. After a concussion, issues with vision are often reported. These issues usually get better in 1-2 weeks with some rest.1 If they last longer, you might need vision rehab to get better. Not getting the right treatment can make vision issues worse.

Feeling extra sensitive to light, called photophobia, happens to about 49% of people after a mild head injury.1 Concussions might make it hard to track moving objects with your eyes. This can mess up how well your hands and eyes work together.1 Most folks who have these visual problems after a concussion find vision therapy helpful.1 It’s also important for their friends and family to support their recovery.1

Key Takeaways

  • Vision problems typically last 1-2 weeks after a concussion before resolving with rest.
  • Photophobia, or sensitivity to light, is a common concussion symptom affecting about 49% of people.
  • Concussions can impact eye tracking and hand-eye coordination.
  • Vision therapy can be beneficial for most individuals experiencing post-concussion vision problems.
  • Creating a supportive recovery environment is important for those recovering from a concussion with vision issues.

Understanding Concussions and Their Impact on Vision

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It happens after a sudden hit or fall.2 The brain can bounce or twist inside the skull because of this force. This motion can harm brain cells. Such injuries greatly affect the visual system. It’s a very complex network. This network links the eyes and the brain. Any harm to this system may lead to various vision complications.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It results from a strong blow or a sudden fall. Such events can make the brain bounce or twist within the skull. This process harms brain cells.

How Can a Concussion Affect Vision?

Concussions have a big impact on the visual system. This system is complex, with countless pathways between the eyes and the brain. It is particularly sensitive to concussion effects. If any part of this system is hurt, many vision problems can occur.

Common Vision Problems After a Concussion

After a concussion, you might face various vision issues. These include double vision, accommodative dysfunction, and eye teaming issues. You could also suffer from sensitivity to light and delayed visual processing.2

Double vision, known as diplopia, happens when your eyes don’t move in unison. You see two images that don’t line up. This makes it hard to focus on things or do daily tasks.2

Accommodative dysfunction is when focusing is hard, especially close up. It feels like you’re farsighted. It can interfere with reading, computer use, or other close activities.2

Problems with eye teaming, called binocular vision issues, can prevent your eyes from working well together. This leads to eye strain, headaches, and trouble judging distances.2

After a concussion, you might become sensitive to light. This is because the brain area controlling how you react to light is damaged. Bright light can make you feel uneasy and worsen other vision problems.2

Difficulty tracking moving objects or doing tasks that need quick visual understanding might happen due to eye tracking problems.2

If you have delayed visual processing, tasks that need quick understanding of visual information can be hard. This includes reading, driving, or playing sports. It might feel challenging to keep up with daily life.2

It’s key to know about the many vision problems post-concussion for the right treatments and recovery support.23

Vision ProblemDescriptionPotential Causes
Double VisionThe brain’s inability to properly coordinate the movements of both eyes, resulting in two images that do not line up.Damage to the neural pathways that control eye movements, affecting the brain’s ability to process visual information from both eyes simultaneously.
Accommodative DysfunctionDifficulty with focus, especially at near distances, mimicking presbyopia or farsightedness.Damage to the muscles and nerves responsible for the eye’s ability to change shape and focus on objects at different distances.
Eye Teaming IssuesDifficulty focusing on near objects as the eyes cannot work together effectively, leading to eyestrain and headaches.Impairment of the brain’s ability to coordinate the movements of the two eyes, affecting depth perception and binocular vision.
Sensitivity to LightDiscomfort or pain in bright environments, exacerbating other vision-related symptoms.Damage to the part of the brain that helps regulate light exposure, leading to increased sensitivity.
Eye Tracking ProblemsDifficulty following moving objects or performing tasks that require rapid visual processing.Disruption in the brain’s ability to coordinate eye movements, affecting hand-eye coordination and visual-motor skills.
Delayed Visual ProcessingDifficulty keeping up with the pace of everyday activities that require rapid recognition of visual information.Impairment in the brain’s ability to efficiently process and respond to visual stimuli, leading to slower processing speed.
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Typical Duration of Vision Problems

Vision problems from a concussion often get better in 1-2 weeks for most people.2 But for others, they might stick around for several months to even a few years.4 The seriousness of the concussion, past head injuries, and personal differences all play a part.3

Short-Term Vision Issues

Fading double vision or sensitivity to light often get better with some rest.2 Yet, if they persist, you may need specialized help like vision therapy.3

Persistent Vision Problems

If your vision troubles last longer than a few weeks,4 the severity of your concussion and unique traits could lengthen recovery.3 In these cases, a detailed check-up and a special plan for treatment might be vital to get your eyesight back on track.

vision problems duration

Treatment Options for Vision Problems After a Concussion

After a concussion, some might have vision troubles that won’t go away. Vision therapy could help. It’s a set of exercises and activities made to boost your eyesight. This process can better how your eyes and brain work together. It targets problems like tracking, judging distances, and how fast you can understand what you see.3 These are common issues for those with post-concussion vision problems.5

Vision Therapy

For a better recovery, it’s not just about the exercises. The setting matters too. Things like getting enough rest, staying away from stress, and being patient with yourself are important. Supportive recovery environment is crucial. It helps in getting through times when your mood or behavior might not be its usual.3

Creating a Supportive Recovery Environment

Best results come from a mix of getting professional help and caring for yourself. When you use vision therapy along with taking care of your well-being, it’s a solid plan. This approach helps in handling vision issues and getting back your full eyesight.5,6

How Long Do Vision Problems Last After a Concussion?

Vision problems after a concussion can last for different periods, and it’s hard to guess how long. Generally, they improve within 1-2 weeks as the brain heals.1 Yet, some may face ongoing issues for much longer—months or even years.1 The situation is influenced by the injury’s severity and the person’s health history.7

Each brain injury and recovery is unique, stressing the need for personalized care. This approach is vital for effective recovery planning by healthcare professionals.7

Vision Problems After ConcussionDuration
Short-term vision issues (e.g., double vision, light sensitivity)1-2 weeks1
Persistent vision problems (e.g., difficulty focusing, eye tracking issues)Months or even years in some cases1,7

About 49% of people struggle with light sensitivity after a mild head injury.1 For some, vision troubles can last a long time.1 Fortunately, vision therapy often helps, benefitting children and adults alike.1

Vision therapy works on the brain to improve eye-related issues from the concussion. Its aims include making hand-eye work and visual processing better.1

After a concussion, vision problems might last a few weeks to months, depending on the person.7 These could include blurred vision, eye focusing difficulty, and more.7 Not all progress is the same, but many see betterment within a few months.7

Sometimes, problems last beyond what’s usual, especially for those with a history of head trauma.7 Vision therapy by eye doctors can help, improving symptoms and recovery.7

Vision therapy’s main goals are to enhance eye teaming and focusing, also helping peripheral vision.7 People who do this therapy often get better at eye movements, seeing space, and processing visuals swiftly.7 Completing the therapy often means long-lasting symptom improvement, unless there’s another injury.7

Understanding the Visual System and Concussion

The visual system connects our eyes to the brain through millions of pathways.4 This system lets us see clearly and process what we see to move and act. A concussion can easily impact this system, causing various symptoms.4

The Complexity of the Visual System

Our visual system is truly amazing. It’s a network of the eyes, optic nerves, and the brain’s visual cortex. Together, they let us see, focus, and match our movements with what we view.4

Common Post-Concussion Visual Symptoms

After a concussion, the visual system might not work right. This can cause issues like blurry vision, seeing two of things, trouble focusing, and problems with bright light.4 People might also have a hard time tracking objects with their eyes or processing what they see quickly. These problems could make daily activities and hobbies more difficult.

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Knowing how complex the visual system is helps us deal with concussions better. It’s crucial for making treatments that work well and helping people recover.4

Factors Affecting Recovery Time

Recovering from vision problems after a concussion varies from person to person. Several factors affect how long symptoms last.7

Individual Differences

Things like age and general health impact how fast someone recovers from a concussion. Pre-existing health conditions also play a part.7

Severity and Type of Concussion

The kind of concussion and how bad it was can slow down recovery. Stronger or more frequent head injuries can make vision problems last longer.7

Previous Head Trauma

Someone who has had head injuries before might take longer to get better. Their brain and vision system could be less flexible.7

Healthcare providers need to know all these points. It helps them create the right plans for each person. Realistic expectations are key to a good recovery.

Vision Therapy: A Comprehensive Approach

Vision therapy is a personalized program to better how we see. It uses the brain’s ability to change, making the link between eyes and brain stronger. It fixes many kinds of vision issues.6

What is Vision Therapy?

This therapy gives you special exercises and activities. They are just for you. The main aims are to boost how your eyes work together and how fast you can process what you see.6

Goals of Vision Therapy

Vision therapy makes you better at seeing and understanding what you see. It works on different parts of your eye system. This helps improve your life by making daily tasks easier.6

Areas of Focus During Treatment

In therapy, you and your expert do exercises that fit your needs. You might do things that help control how your eyes move, see space, know depth, remember what you see, and improve how two eyes work together.6

By working on these areas, therapy helps after a concussion. It lets you get back your eye skills and makes what you see clearer.6

The Benefits of Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is great for folks with vision issues after a concussion. It boosts skills like tracking, teaming, and focus. This helps people move around and do things better every day.6 Plus, it makes the brain “see” things more clearly. So, stuff like catching a ball, reading, and understanding pictures gets easier.

Improving Visual Skills

Vision therapy sharpens how well you see things. It uses exercises to make eye tracking, teaming, and focusing stronger. This means better interaction with the world and doing daily tasks with more skill and confidence.6

Enhancing Visual Processing

It also boosts how well your brain handles what your eyes see. By toughening up how the eyes and brain work together, you can get better at things like catching a ball, reading, and understanding. This could change your life for the better, making daily activities more enjoyable.6

Regaining Confidence

But perhaps what’s best is how it boosts confidence. Fixing the root of vision issues lets people feel more sure of themselves. This cuts down how much vision problems bother their mental and physical health.6

With vision skills, brain processing, and confidence back, life can really change post-concussion. People can get back to doing things they love, feeling independent all over again.6

When to Consider Vision Therapy

If you’re still having vision issues more than a few weeks after a concussion, think about vision therapy.3 Your problems likely won’t just go away within six weeks of getting hurt.3 Things like seeing double, trouble focusing, or being sensitive to light can really get in the way. They make it hard to do everyday things and join in on fun activities.

Persistent Vision Problems

A specialist optometrist can do a deep dive into what’s causing your vision troubles and come up with a special plan to help out.3 For the plan to really work, you might need a few months of therapy. But some folks need a bit longer, up to six months.3

Comprehensive Assessment

This checkup might involve many tests to see how well your eyes work together and overall vision processing.6 Shockingly, 82% of post-concussion patients discover they have a problem with their eye movement.6 Pinpointing these issues helps the optometrist create a vision therapy plan that’s just for you. It’s all about bringing your vision back to full health.

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Monitoring and Managing Vision Problems

After a concussion, watch closely for vision issues. Seek help if these problems last more than a few weeks.8 Your main doctor may send you to an expert. This expert could be an ophthalmologist or a neuro-optometrist. They will know the best way to check and treat your eyes.

You can also help yourself deal with these problems. Use bigger print or change the font size on screens.3 Over-the-counter eye drops can help with dry eyes. Try to avoid bright lights and take breaks from screens often. Using both professional help and self-care methods can make a big difference. This way, patients can take control of their eye problems after a concussion.

Conclusion

In conclusion, concussions often lead to vision issues. These problems can last for different times in different people. Some folks see their issues clear up in 1-2 weeks9. But,810 others might need long-term care for their vision. Understanding how a concussion can harm your eyes is key to getting better.

An approach called vision therapy is great for fixing many post-concussion vision troubles. It includes special exercises and tasks. These help you get your sight back on track, improve how your brain handles images, and boost your trust.8 When you notice vision problems, it’s smart to get medical help. Also, taking care of yourself is important. This way, you can improve your vision after a head injury.

Wrapping up, it’s clear that concussions can seriously affect your eyes. But, treatments like vision therapy can really help you. By treating vision issues early and fully, you can get back to your normal life. This is important for feeling well and doing your daily activities.

FAQ

How long do vision problems last after a concussion?

Vision problems from a concussion usually clear up within 1-2 weeks for most people. But, for others, these problems can last months or even years.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. It happens when the brain gets a sudden hit or blow, making it move inside the skull. This can harm brain cells.

How can a concussion affect vision?

Concussions can really mess with how we see things. They damage the complex connection between the eyes and the brain. This causes various vision problems.

What are some common vision problems after a concussion?

After a concussion, you might see double or have trouble focusing your eyes. Other issues include finding it hard to work together your eyes, being sensitive to light, and not being able to track moving objects well.

What are short-term vision issues after a concussion?

Some people might have double vision or find light too bright right after the accident. However, these problems often get better with rest.

What are persistent vision problems after a concussion?

But for a few, these vision issues stick around. It could be for months, or years. Many things, like how hard the concussion hit and your own health, can change how long these problems last.

What is vision therapy?

Vision therapy is a set of custom exercises and actions to make your sight better. It’s especially helpful for those with lasting vision issues after a concussion.

What are the goals of vision therapy?

The main aims of vision therapy are to boost how your eyes work together, how they track things, focus, and how fast you process what you see.

What are the benefits of vision therapy?

By enhancing your eyes’ performance, vision therapy can boost your confidence in seeing well again. It makes daily life easier with fewer vision hurdles.

When should someone consider vision therapy?

Thinking about vision therapy? If your vision issues last longer than a few weeks post-concussion, it’s a good idea to look into it. Get a comprehensive eye exam to figure out the best plan for you.

How can someone monitor and manage vision problems after a concussion?

After a concussion, watch your vision closely. If problems last more than a few weeks, see a doctor. Using larger print and dimming bright lights at home can be good ways to help your eyes recover.

Source Links

  1. https://bellevuesec.com/how-long-do-vision-problems-last-after-a-concussion/
  2. https://health.mil/Reference-Center/Fact-Sheets/2021/03/30/Vision-Problems-After-Concussion-Fact-Sheet
  3. https://www.cognitivefxusa.com/blog/vision-problems-after-concussion
  4. https://www.visualsymptomstreatmentcenter.com/can-your-vision-change-after-a-concussion/
  5. https://eyegalleryks.com/how-long-do-vision-problems-last-after-a-concussion/
  6. https://www.concussionalliance.org/vision-therapy
  7. https://bella-vision.com/how-long-do-vision-problems-last-after-a-concussion/
  8. https://www.aao.org/education/clinical-statement/vision-concussion-symptoms-signs-evaluation-treatm
  9. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15038-concussion
  10. https://completeconcussions.com/concussion-management/assessing-smooth-pursuit-eye-movements-following-a-concussion/