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How Does Head Trauma Affect the Visual System?

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Dr. Meltzer answers this week's EVA Q & A question: How does head trauma affect the visual system?

If you have a question you’d like to see answered in a future EVA Q and A, please post it in the comments below!

Head trauma comes in many different forms and has many different causes.  It can be due to accidents, such as a car crash, a sports injury, a fall, or any other concussion causing injury.  Head trauma may also be due to medical conditions such as a stroke, a tumor, brain surgery, direct trauma to the eye and/or the muscles that control them, or due to neurological / degenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and others.

Regardless of the cause, any injury or trauma to the brain has the potential to disrupt the visual system. Due to the complexity of processing our vision, and controlling our eyes, almost every part of our brain is involved in one way or another.  Symptoms of head trauma can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Trouble seeing clearly
  • Missing part of one’s field of view
  • Trouble shifting focus from one position to another
  • Trouble reading:  losing one’s place, skipping lines, reduced comprehension ability, or unable to sustain the ability to read as long as one once did
  • Double vision or needing to close or cover one eye occasionally or often
  • Headaches; especially in the forehead, around the eyes, and/or at the temples
  • Problems with balance or equilibrium
  • Pain or dryness of the eyes
  • Drooping of one or both eyelids
  • Trouble keeping eyes open
  • Light sensitivity
  • Needing to move your head to see better

At Eye Vision Associates, Drs. Meltzer & Tamburro can help assess these, and more, visual symptoms you may be having and help you develop a diagnosis and treatment plan to get you back to your maximum visual abilities.  Call us at (631) 588-5100 to schedule a consultation if you, or a family member, may be having any of these issues.  If you have any additional questions, you can leave them in the comments below or email Dr. Meltzer directly at


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