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Home » Vision Therapy » Traumatic and Acquired Brain Injury TBI

Traumatic and Acquired Brain Injury TBI

What is Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or Concussion?

woman suffering from CVSAcquired Brain Injury (ABI)/concussion is an all-encompassing/umbrella term for damage to the brain that occurs after birth. Typically this damage is sudden, non-progressive, non-degenerative, and leads to abnormalities in neurological processing. These neurological changes can adversely affect the way a person functions in their activities of daily living, i.e., thought process, emotional behavior, speech ability, and physical changes such as impaired motor function, problems with a person’s visual system including, but not limited to:

  • Eye tracking problems
  • Eye teaming problems
  • Eye focusing problems
  • Visual field problems
  • Visual information processing problems

An ABI can be from an external traumatic injury (where the brain encountered physical trauma from such incidents as a motor vehicle or bicycle accident, a fall, an assault, contact sports, or neuro-surgery, etc.) or it can be from an internal cause (a stroke, an aneurysm, a brain tumor, a viral infection or inflammation such as meningitis, a vestibular dysfunction such as Ménière’s disease, or any post-surgical complications leading to an anoxic or hypoxic event in the brain).


For more information on brain injury please visit

How can this affect my vision?

The majority of the hardwiring of the brain involves the visual pathway, so it is common to experience a visual problem after a brain injury. The most common visual symptoms/visual problems associated with acquired brain injury (ABI) are:

  • Blurred vision at distance viewing
  • Blurred vision at near viewing
  • Slow shift of focus from near-to-far or far-to-near
  • Difficulty copying or taking notes
  • Double vision
  • Pulling or tugging sensation around eyes
  • Unable to sustain near work or reading for periods of time
  • Loss of place while reading
  • Eyes get tired while reading
  • Headaches while reading
  • Covering/closing one eye
  • Easily distracted when reading
  • Decreased attention span
  • Reduced concentration ability
  • Difficulty remembering what has been read
  • Loss of balance
  • Face/head turn or head tilt
  • Bothered by movement in environment and/or by crowded environments
  • Light sensitivity
  • A sensation of the floor, ceiling, or walls tilting
  • Dizziness
  • A sensation of the room spinning
  • A sensation of not feeling grounded
  • Postural shifts/veering off when walking

What treatments are available?

Lens—a specifically prescribed optical device that focuses light onto the retina to obtain a clear image; at times, lenses are used at near to help the eye focus more easily and efficiently with increased comfort.

Prism—a specialized optical device that deviates/’bends’ light; prisms are frequently prescribed as a component of the treatment for binocular vision problems and to eliminate double vision, as well as to provide comfort for near visual tasks such as reading.

Tint/coating—an optical component that alters the amount of light to the eyes; at times, it may also alter the color of the object; they are used to help those with light sensitivity/glare problems.

Selective occlusion—the use of specially graded filters to help patients who are experiencing double vision or visual confusion.

For more information on brain injury please visit

What reading looks like for a person with visual problems from an ABI