Maximizing Vision Following a Concussion or Other Brain Injury
Following a brain injury, it is common to experience visual problems, such as decreased blink reflex (that feeling of “staring to focus,”) and light and/or glare sensitivity. To make matters worse, the computer screens, tablets and phones we use have a blue-violet light, which can cause eyestrain and fatigue. The light also suppresses melatonin production which directly affects the sleep cycle. To help your eyes after to heal after a brain injury, it is important to take care of them.
These simple recommendations can help maximize your vision:
Use Over the Counter Lubricating Drops
Lubricating eye drops are recommended to reduce discomfort. Look for a product that says “artificial tears” and/or “lubricating drops.” You want to stay clear of products that say, “Get the red out.” Some brands may be more effective than others based on your individual tear film quality. If you notice your eyes quickly becoming dry, you may want to try a different brand of drops.
Use the lubricating drops at least twice a day. Place the bottle next to your toothbrush as a reminder. If your daily routine requires using a computer, use lubricating drops every 1-2 hours of computer use.
Wear Sunglasses and Hat with Visor
Sunglasses with UV protection should be worn when outdoors, along with a visor to shield the sun from your eyes and face. A lightly tinted lens may increase comfort when indoors, but dark sunglasses for constant wear should be avoided. Instead, use a visor, when needed, to reduce brightness.
Use Blue-Light Filters
Any product that decreases blue-violet light exposure is recommended. Apps for your smartphone or tablet are available to download, along with purchasing a filter screen for your computer, smartphone and tablet.
Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
For every 20 minutes spent on a computer/LED screen, take a 20 second break, by looking at least 20 feet away to relax your eyes. Try closing your eyes, especially if your eyes tend to be dry.