Vision Care and Concussions

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A Mother’s Concerns

As parents, keeping our children healthy and safe is at the top of the list. We do all we can to ensure that each day, they are maintaining habits that set the table for long-term health. From brushing their teeth to eating vegetables—everything matters. When illness arrives, we use the information available to us (along with some good ol’ fashioned instincts) to nurture them back towards health. But for Oasis, things weren’t so easy.

Oasis’ son, Bryce, is a typical 12-year-old boy. He loves sports, playing with his friends, and learning math. He has a contagious smile and is one of the most polite young men you’ll ever meet. Last August, however, a few weeks after football practices began, concerns started to increase around his health.

Bryce Concussion Vision Care

Bryce at the Optometrists

“He was playing both flag and tackle football,” Oasis shared. “At first, we thought it was the flu as it had been spreading around the other boys on the team. But after almost a month, he was still constantly nauseated.”

Oasis went on to tell us that Bryce wasn’t eating and had lost about fifteen pounds. She was told by the doctor that it sounded like an ulcer. Although the doctor admitted to her that it is pretty uncommon for a young kid, he recommended testing anyway. Bryce was given a GI test, but the results came back negative. Other suggestions were made about the cause of Bryce’s behavior as well, including psychological ones. “It wasn’t until his flag football coach noticed something strange that we started to move in the right direction.”

Identifying the Issue

Bryce had just completed a long pass down the field when his coach approached him and noticed something strange. “He said he was as white as a ghost and there was no connection in his eyes – just a blank stare” Oasis told us. “The coach came to us immediately and told us he thought Bryce had a concussion.” Thankful for the coach’s insight, Oasis was able to confirm these suspicions through their doctor who referred them to a special concussion team in nearby Sacramento, California. Once there, they were able to finally label Bryce’s condition as a vestibular concussion.

Bryce Concussion Vision Care

Bryce and his mother, Oasis

When it comes to vestibular concussion, common symptoms include headaches, blurry vision, nausea, dizziness, noise and light sensitivity, balance difficulties, difficulty with concentrating, difficulty remembering, and difficulty sleeping – all of which Bryce experienced. Oftentimes a concussed person will complain of difficulty with reading a computer or books and difficulty changing focus from one point to another.

Getting Help

As a part of Bryce’s vestibular rehabilitation, he went to see Dr. Palmer Lee at EYEcenter Optometric. While there, he took a series of tests to evaluate his vision. Some of these tests were through a device called RightEye, which performs a series of eye-movement tests that provide a variety of visual data points that give doctors the insights they need in order to help improve recovery and vision performance. In addition, Dr. Lee was able to provide Bryce with a comprehensive eye exam.

Bryce Concussion Vision Care

Bryce receiving the RightEye tests

“Good eye care and vision therapy can help re-train the eyes and help them function better,” said Dr. Lee. “With the right tests, we are able to determine if indeed there is a concussion and map out a plan from there. We also found that Bryce was just a little farsighted, so we have prescribed him some glasses with TechShield Blue to help him function better in school since they work on computers all day.”

Bryce Concussion Vision Care

Dr. Palmer Lee delivers Bryce’s eye exam

TechShield Blue helps combat digital eye strain that is caused by the blue light emitted from electronic screens such as the computers that are used in Bryce’s school. Bryce was able to get outfitted in some stylish Dragon glasses and the TechShield Blue was included in the lenses.

“I’m excited to be able to see my friends again and get back into school,” Bryce said. And, indeed, the look on his face was evidence to his joy.

Bryce Concussion Vision Care

Bryce selects his new glasses

Vision care is a path toward recovery for those who have experienced concussions. If you or someone you know has experienced a concussion, seek out medical care immediately and make sure that your visual health is part of the roadmap to healing. Our network of 39,000 optometrists is a great place to start.

Bryce Concussion Vision Care

Dr. Lee and Bryce

 

 

5 Comments

  • Suzie says:

    It’s great to see Bryce getting the care and glasses that will help him get back to school and sports!

  • Richard Zimdars says:

    Time for parents to get their boys out of tackle football.

  • Alfalfa Doe says:

    Glad to see they were able to help! I have Post Concussion Syndrome, and my occupational therapist noted issues with my vision even though I had visited my regular ophthalmologist right after the accident. She referred me to an optometrist who specialize in head injury patients. They diagnosed binocular vision disorder and crafted a series (I am on my second set) to realign my vision vertically and horizontally. The end result has been amazing, I am able to read again and have increased balance and my headaches have decreased in magnitude and frequency. I am going today for another recheck and will be sure to ask about TechShield Blue as I also suffer light sensitivity. Thanks for sharing this important nuance in eye care!

  • Cris says:

    I’m glad I took a moment to read this article. I had a concussion about five years ago and have never felt right, and have had some difficult with my vision. Definitely plan to discuss this when I see my optometrist. Thank you for printing this article.

  • Heather says:

    My ophthalmologist noticed that my lazy eye (which had been successfully treated at age 5) returned at the age of 36 due to a concussion from a bad car accident. I had many of the symptoms listed above, but I never dreamed that it would affect my eyesight as well. I hope more ER doctors urge their patients to get their vision checked as part of a post-concussion treatment plan.

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