Modern transport has made travel easier, but it is also fraught with danger. Accidents are quite common place and high-speed crashes are known to cause head trauma. Even if the trauma does not end up in causing broken bones or skull injuries, the sudden deceleration may result in vision problems. These injuries can impair your eyesight due to damage to your optic nerve or retina. Not only can it cause vision impairment, it can also disturb brain function. Even if you have suffered a mild head injury such as a concussion, it is essential to see a doctor. The doctor will examine your eyes and neural responses to make sure no vision problems come up later.
Symptoms for vision impairment vary. For instance, you may have trouble with focusing your eyes. Your gaze fails to switch between far and nearby objects or gets locked in one particular angle. Sometimes you are likely to vomit, feel very nauseous, be sensitive to light or have intense headaches. It may become difficult to read in these circumstances. Here are some serious consequences of head injuries.
HAEMORRHAGE INTO THE VITREOUS HUMOUR
The vitreous humour is a jelly-like and clear substance that lies between the lens and the light sensitive layer at the back of the eye, called retina. The vitreous is the intermediate medium for passage of light entering your eyes. Head trauma can cause the vitreous to detach from the retina. The traction leads to rupture of the blood vessels in vitreo-retinal inter phase and bleeding into the vitreous humour. This is called vitreous haemorrhage. It shows up as floaters, cobwebs, haze, shadows or diminished vision with low to mild haemorrhage. With significant haemorrhage, visual acuity goes down. It can even result in visual field getting restricted.
DAMAGED TO THE OPTIC NERVE
Traumatic Optic Neuropathy (TOM) is a severe consequence of head trauma, which can eventually lead to complete blindness. Trauma to the optic nerve at the back of the eye can be direct or indirect. Traumatic shear forces act on the nerve sheath and damage the nerve fibres or the blood vessels supplying the nerve. This leads to lack of oxygen supply and the degeneration of the retinal cells. Swelling of the optic nerve secondary to acute trauma further compromises the blood supply. This may be due to an increase in the pressure inside the nerve bundle or reactive blood vessel constriction. The end result of this is either partial or complete vision loss in the affected eye.
Any time you suffer an injury to the head it can have a major impact on your vision. Hence, it is essential to get treated quickly to prevent vision problems and impairment. If you notice even subtle changes in your vision, difficulty in focusing or double vision, you should be examined by an ophthalmologist or neurologist as soon as possible.