Traumatic Brain Injury Blog

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New Information on Photophobia following TBI

By on July 31, 2017 In Rehabilitation, Research
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One of the most common symptoms following TBI is photophobia, an intense intolerance to light that can cause significant discomfort, interfere with activities of daily living, and contribute to post traumatic headaches. It can impact the ability to work at computer screens and in well-lit offices and can cause a great deal of fatigue for patients who try to return to usual activities. Avoiding light can be very limiting.

Unfortunately, we currently have limited understanding about the biology of photophobia, putting it in the category of “subjective” symptoms, the validity of which are often questioned. Lack of understanding of why photophobia occurs also limits the interventions available to address this problem. Recent studies reflect progress on both accounts.

The journal Military Medicine published a study that evaluated the pupillary light reflex in mild traumatic brain injury patients and in normal individuals, with and without photosensitivity, under a range of test conditions. The researchers found that several pupillometry parameters were significantly different in those with and without photosensitivity. In other words, this study confirms that that there are objective changes underlying this condition.

In a study recently released in the Journal of Athletic Training, researchers at the University of Cincinnati report on success in relieving symptoms using colored (as opposed to dark) glasses, especially in indoor settings, permitting patients to retain the details of sensory information and therefore better function in this setting. The colors that provided relief most often were green, blue, red and purple.

Patients with any vision related concussion symptoms are encourage to seek out experienced Neuro-Optometrists with practices focused on rehabilitation following brain injury. Many of our clients report significant improvements when working with right clinician.

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