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How Do You Know if You Need To See An Eye Doctor After a Head Injury? | Long Island Eye Doctor

Dr. Joel Kestenbaum

Head injuries happen frequently all over the nation.  Unofficially, a head injury happens every 16-20 seconds and can range from mild to severe.  Regardless of the severity of your injury, it is important to get checked out by your eye doctor, as well as your regular physician, if you start having problems with your vision.

Symptoms That Necessitate a Call to Your Eye Doctor

If my patients experience any of the following symptoms, they should be examined as soon as possible:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sensitive to light
  • Difficulty with memory
  • Double vision
  • Headaches that won’t go away
  • Any loss of vision
  • Aching eyes
  • Vision is blurry
  • Words seem to move when trying to read them
  • Difficulty comprehending

To avoid potential vision and other medical issues later on, have an evaluation by your eye doctor if you are having any of the above symptoms after a head injury.  After being checked, it may just be that you need rest and you will heal on your own.  Results could also show that damage occurred to your eyes or your brain from the head injury that need immediate treatment by other physicians.

I always prefer that my patients are overly cautious and come see me, so I can make sure everything is okay;  Early intervention is a necessity before it is too late to fix the damage that has been done.

Resulting Vision Problems That Your Doctor May Need to Treat

Three of the most common issues I see after a head injury are:

  • Hemorrhage of the vitreous – In your eye, there is a jellylike substance that light travels through called the vitreous humor.  Some head injuries can break the blood vessels in the eye and cause them to bleed into the vitreous humor.  These can be troubling injuries, but normally clear up without further damage on their own.  In severe cases, medication, or even surgery may be needed to treat the situation.
  • Optic nerve damage – The optic nerve is what sends the signal of what you see from your eye to your brain to be interpreted.  A head injury that raises the spinal pressure in the skull can cut off the blood circulation to the optic nerve.  If not treated by a neurologist or neurosurgeon, it can lead to severe or permanent vision loss.
  • Retinal detachment – The retina is located in the back of your eye where is takes the images that you see and changes them to signals for your brain to interpret.  With some a head injuries, the delicate film of the eye called the retina may detach from its’ base.  A detached retina can lead to permanent blindness if it isn’t treated.  The earlier this is detected, the better the outcome to save vision.

None of these eye issues that can happen from a head injury should be taken lightly.  Again, I strongly urge you to visit us at Optix Family Eyecare Center, your Long Island eye doctor, after a head injury if you have had any change in your vision or think that something just doesn’t feel right.  We can help to determine the cause of your vision issues and refer you to the proper specialists if need be.

For an appointment, call us at 516-931-6330

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