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Persistent Vision Problems Post-Concussion

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Unread 10-25-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default Persistent Vision Problems Post-Concussion

Hi, I'm new to this forum. I was reading through some posts, looking for an answer to my problem and I see some people have/are dealt/dealing with what I am going through. But, there wasn't enough in-depth *stuff*, so here's my story:

I had my first concussion when I was five years old (I'm currently 17). I was dropped by a classmate and fell two and a half feet, hitting my head on a thin-carpet covered concrete floor. This resulted in a basal skull fracture. Since then I've had five *more* concussions. My sixth one happened a little over 6 weeks ago, during a soccer game. I wear (wore) a Full90 concussion-prevention headband, but it didn't fully protect me in a collision with another girl. I don't actually know what happened, since I can't remember most of the game and it's as if I saw the girl, and I blinked and when I opened my eyes I saw my hips going over my face and I realized I was on the ground doing a backwards somersault. I immidiately left the game and didn't go back. (I haven't played soccer since, and unfortunately will never play compettively again.) I saw my doctor within a week after the collision, and he told me to take it easya nd that I had a concussion. I've also taken the Impact Testing, and still haven't completely recovered. As for daily symptoms, they seem to be worsening. After about a month, my symptoms were clearing up with less frequent/ weaker headaches. But this past week, I've had a headache almost constantly. I also have head rushes/ dizziness upon standing. I sometimes am talking and forget what I was saying halfway through or I forget words and have to struggle to remember what I wanted to say. Yet, my worse symptom is what I came here for. My vision has worsened. After my concussion, I couldn't focus close up or far away; only middle distance. Now, my far away vision is a little better but not much. And close up, it's hard to focus. The worst of it is when I'm reading or studying or doing work in class. It's as if I can't focus my eyes. The letters blur up and I can't keep them in straight lines, and the contrast of black on white gives me a killer headache. Also, after about ten minutes, my eyes start crossing and I feel so unbelievably tired. I can't even hold my eyelids up, and when I try to focus, my eyes just cross even more. I've tried everything I can think of: sitting up, laying down, drinking water, drinking coffee, sleeping more, sleeping less, bright lights, low lights,covering one eye, covering the other eye. Nothing helps and it's relly effecting my schoolwork and grades. I've told my parents but they just tell me it's my low blood sugar or that I didn't get enough sleep. But I know it's my eyes because it's not just one day that this happened, it's been every single day for two weeks. Finally, my mom made me an eye doctor's appointment, but that's not until November 9.

What I guess I want to know is if this a legitimate result of my concussion(s) or something else? I really think it is because of my concussion, but i don't know what to do about it. Any suggestions?
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Unread 10-25-2011, 08:21 PM   #2
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It definitely could be concussion related. I had vision therapy after my concussion. Please be sure that you have a vision efficiency evaluation, not just a medical eye exam. They will check how well your eyes are working together.

My medical eye exam was completely normal, but my eyes were having trouble working together.

I found my vision therapist through this website, which also has good info on problems that could be caused by brain injury: http://www.braininjuries.org/
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cp_ind (10-25-2011)
Unread 10-25-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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I also had similar problems with my vision post-concussion. I couldnt read without getting a headache for the first few months. I would read with one eye shut sometimes, but just focusing my attention that much was torture. I also had an eye exam 3 days post concussion and it was completely normal.

Its so hard because you are in school right now, but i think most doctors would tell you to be on cognitive rest as well...which means, no work, no studying, no school. I have a friend who had a concussion at 17 and was taken out of school by her neurologist for 5 months. It was so hard for her, and she had to postpone college because of her long lasting symptoms, but its with the hopes she will get better sooner. Good luck.
Suffered a TBI with PCS on April 25th 2011 from multiple blows to the head from falling, unconscious for 12 hours with no memory of event. Hit the back of my head, and above right eye. MRI and CT negative. Symptoms included constant headaches (migraine, pressure, tension, icepicks), dizziness, tinnitus, visual changes, photophobia, fatigue, "spacing out", word finding difficulties, depression, and emotional lability.
Began Healing in November 2011 after starting acupuncture and Healing Touch (a nurturing energy therapy that promotes relaxation and pain relief). I went back to work in February 2012. Ive been symptom free since July 2012. Very happy, positive, energetic and working out every day, doing yoga, and living a normal life again!
I also began taking Healing Touch classes in November 2011 and completed 5 Levels of Healing Touch Certificate Program that included a 1 year mentorship to become a Healing Touch International Practitioner in June 2013. I am so pleased to offer this wonderful healing therapy to my patients, friends, and clients.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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I second both comments.

I am now involved in vision therapy. I was seen by an eye doctor who performed a developmental visual evaluation. Based on that and a functional vision evaluation, he concluded that the concussion caused some visual problems. I now have glasses to help with my close up vision, (directly related to the concussion and not due to aging or failing eye site etc.) I also go to vision therapy once a week to teach my eyes how to work together again and to help my brain work with those images to percieve the world as it is around me.

The glasses have made a huge difference for me already. I"m only on week two of therapy but I think it also is going to be a huge help to my symptoms.

Make sure you eye doctor has experience with vision therapy, TBI etc.
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Unread 10-28-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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Default PCS and vision

I am glad to see you are in vision therapy. I believe anyone with vision deficits following a concussion or any hit to the head should be seen by a vision specialist. Seeing a developmental eye doctor is essential as they do look beyond the normal vision screen which most people will pass. Vision therapy is important and can be very helpful. I see a PCS pt for therapy and we work alot on her vision which is improving. She c/o all of the symptoms many report here. My best friend recently fell running a marathon and I told her that she needs to ask about PCS as all her tests have come back negative and she is describing the same visual problems,irritability, lability, etc that many of you and my current pt are stating. She states everyone feels she is making this up. She is off of work and doesn't see how she will go back at this point. I told her to go to a vision specialist...I am eagerly awaiting the results and hope she can benefit as well. Good luck to everyone.
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