Study shows high rate of vision problems after TBI

March 18, 2013

A recent study reports high occurrences of vision problems in patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Menlo Park, CA-A recent study, "Mechanisms of TBI and Visual Consequences in Military and Veteran Populations," reports high occurrences of vision problems in patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Gregory L. Goodrich, PhD, of the VA Palo Alto (CA) Health Care System and colleagues conducted the study. The results were published in the February issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

The study included Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans who had received blast-related traumatic brain injuries. This type of unique injury involves the distance between an explosion and the solider, causing direct head trauma in one third of blasted-related TBIs.

These results were compared to patients with non-blast related TBIs, mostly those received in vehicle related accidents.

The results showed:

  • More than 65% of blast-related and non-blast-related patients reported vision problems.

  • About 50% of the patients reported problems with reading.

  • 67% of blast-related patients complained about light sensitivity.

  • 33% of non-blast-related patients reported the same problem.

  • 85% of non-blast-related patients reported eye movement problems.

  • 58% of blast-related patients reported the same problem.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI each year. TBIs contribute to one-third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.