New Study Highlights Importance of Vision Testing following Concussion (mTBI)
The May 16, 2017 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine highlights the significance of subtle changes in vision following concussion in predicting more prolonged recovery. The study found that a diagnosis of “convergence insufficiency” increased the odds of prolonged recovery by 12.3 fold.
Convergence insufficiency can exist even in a patient with normal eyes and 20/20 eyesight. It is the inability to maintain binocular function (keeping the two eyes working together) while working at a near distance. It often goes undiagnosed and produces symptoms such as headaches, eye strain with reading, blurred vision, inability to concentrate, sleepiness during activity, difficulty remembering what is read and problems with motion sickness and/or vertigo. These are all common symptoms of concussion.
The good news, as reported in prior posts, is that convergence insufficiency often responds to therapeutic interventions such as vision therapy and prism glasses. Improvement in convergence can lead to improvement in the related symptoms. The field of neuro optometry focuses on vision issues caused by brain injury; a program of neuro-optometric rehabilitation is often successful in reducing symptoms and improving function.