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Injury Accidents & Vision Loss

The human eyes are complex sensory organs that are specifically designed to optimize vision under various types of lighting conditions. Our eyes function very similar to that of a photography camera and the healthy function of our eyes are extremely important to our daily functions. The visual process allows us to respond with the appropriate cognitive and motor responses to the world outside. According to research, up to 85% of our cognitive abilities, our perception and our learning are closely related to the whole vision process.

Visual perception disorders are extremely common impairments that are associated with head injuries and a number of people that recover from a traumatic brain injury will suffer from permanent vision loss. Our vision is broken down into three general categories: 1) visual field and visual acuity, 2) visual-motor abilities, and 3) our visual perception.

Visual acuity refers to the clarity of sight, whereas the visual field refers to our peripheral vision or panorama vision. Visual motor abilities refer to the alignment of the eyes, improper alignment would be where an eye isn't straight or properly aligned. Visual perception has to do with coordination as in eye-foot coordination or eye-body coordination. Other aspects of visual perception include visual memory (recalling what we see), visual closure (the ability to mentally complete a picture based on seeing only parts of an object), and spacial relationship (the ability to where you are in relation to objects around you etc.). Finally, figure discrimination allows you to discern an object from objects in the background. When you think about it, every moment of our waking day we are using each of these visual perceptions to observe our surroundings and function accordingly within those surroundings.

Head Injuries & Loss of Vision

Head injuries are frequently associated with vision loss. The most worrisome forms of vision loss are visual field loss, intractable double vision, and visual/balance disorders.

Visual Field Loss – This refers to a situation where the victim has lost half of their field of vision. This causes a vulnerable situation where the individual is susceptible to further injuries from bumping into objects or being struck by an oncoming object, or from falls.

Double Vision (diplopia) – Double vision is both serious and intolerable and it can happen after a brain injury. Double vision is treated with lenses, prisms, and vision therapy; however, if these are unsuccessful, then intractable diplopia can occur.

Visual Balance Disorders – Head injuries can cause all types of visual balance disorders including Visual Medline Shift Syndrome (VMSS), nystagmus, as well as other disruptions of the central and peripheral visual processing. These types of disruptions are often treated with lenses, prisms, and visual rehabilitation treatment.

Traumatic Optic Neuropathy & Post Trauma Vision Syndrome

Traumatic optic neuropathy (TON) occurs when the optic nerve experiences an acute injury and it is secondary to trauma. Patients with traumatic optic neuropathy (TON) can experience varying degrees of vision loss such as a decrease in visual acuity, visual field disturbances, or loss of the ability to see in color. The most common causes of TON injuries are: car accidents, bicycle accidents, followed by falls and assaults.

As stated earlier, vision loss is common after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Sadly, a large number of people who suffer from a brain injury will experience vision loss such as blurred vision, double vision, or visual field defects. Post-traumatic vision syndrome (PTVS) occurs abruptly after an accident when the brain isn't allowed sufficient time to adjust gradually, and as a result, the victim experiences visual disruptions. These visual problems can affect balance, coordination, and movement. Head trauma can reduce the eyes' ability to work together, thus causing dizziness and nausea.

Pasadena Vision Loss Attorney

Vision loss can cause serious disruptions to every aspect of your life, it can make it impossible to drive or even perform the work that you used to do. Traumatic brain injuries and vision loss are also associated with depressive symptoms which can cause a delay in seeking medical treatment. If you are experiencing vision loss and have been involved in an accident, it's absolutely critical that you seek appropriate medical attention in order to ensure the continuity of care.

At McGee, Lerer & Associates, we are a husband and wife team with over 35 years of combined experience in the field of personal injury law. Over our extensive legal career, we have seen first-hand the implications of vision loss and how it can affect the victim, as well as members of their family. Please, contact a Pasadena vision loss attorney from our firm for immediate legal assistance in this urgent matter.