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In combat vets and others, high rate of vision problems after traumatic brain injury
Date:2/4/2013

blast-related TBI also had direct head trauma, caused by events surrounding the blast.)

The results showed high rates of vision problems in both groups. More than 65 percent had vision-related symptoms, including difficulty reading in about half of patients. Patients with blast-related TBI were more likely to complain of light sensitivity67 versus 77 percent.

On examination, patients with non-blast-related TBI were more likely to have problems related to eye movement (saccadic dysfunction)85 versus 58 percent. Other types of problems were similar between groups, including blurred vision caused by focusing problems (accommodative dysfunction) and problems moving the eyes together to focus on near objects (convergence insufficiency). Visual field defects (blind spots) were less common.

The high rate of visual problems occurred even though most patients had normal visual acuity. In both the blast-related and non-blast-related TBI groups, visual problems were similar after mild versus moderate to severe TBI.

With Similar Rates Regardless of TBI Cause or Severity

Traumatic brain injury is a common problem, affecting an average of 1.7 million Americans each year. "TBI can take place in any setting and can happen to anyone," according to Dr Goodrich and coauthors. Visual problems, especially oculomotor (eye movement) difficulties, are common after TBI. The new study is one of the first to examine the rates and types of visual problems among military personnel with blast-related TBI.

The results show high rates of visual symptoms and abnormalities after blast-related TBI, similar to those found in non-blast-related TBI. The similarities are despite the differing mechanisms of injury. The higher rate of light sensitivity in the military group is consistent with previous studies reporting increased sensitivity to light and noise in patients with blast-related TBI.

Dr Goodrich and colleagues call for further st
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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