concussion eyes

If you have accidentally met an accident with your head or experienced any traumatic brain injury, like a concussion that disrupts normal brain functions, you may experience vision problems. Even mild traumatic brain injuries can make it difficult to concentrate, causing light sensitivity, memory loss, or eyesight difficulties such as blurry vision. 

So, if you are experiencing any such symptoms or eye concussion, it does not mean your vision is impaired. There are many symptoms of eye concussion that you should note to get the proper treatment for your vision. This article will discuss eye concussion symptoms, testing, and treatment options to avoid bigger vision problems. 

What Is A Concussion?

A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that can occur from a direct blow or bump to your head due to a fall, car accident, or sports injury, which can make your brain bounce or twist around or in the skull, causing chemical changes of the brain which can lead to the damage of brain cells. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is not life-threatening. However, it can cause other severe symptoms such as:

  • Headache.
  • Confusion.
  • Balance problems.
  • Nausea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Vision problems.

Now, let's move on to the most common symptom of concussion, which is concussion eyes, and uncover its symptoms, testing, treatments and more.

How Do The Eyes Look With A Concussion?

In concussion the external appearance of your eyes may look like this:

  • Pupils of uneven size.
  • misaligned eye movements.
  • Atypical eye movements.
  • Droopy eyelids.

Although you may not notice all these symptoms externally, you will only experience one or some of these changes with your eyes. 

Common Eye Symptoms After Concussion

Eye problems are the common side effect of a concussion. Some of the most common symptoms of concussion eyes are:

Blurred/Double Vision

Sometimes, just a mild injury on the head can cause much trouble, such as blurred vision, which is a common symptom of concussion. The leading cause is damaged nerves and muscles around the eyes. This impacts the brain's hard skull by putting much stress on seeing an object, making the coordinating eyes diverge, called convergence insufficiency, resulting in blurred or double vision.

 This problem can further show some symptoms, including: 

  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Eye strain.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Migraine with aura.
  • Migraine-associated vertigo.
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty reading or concentrating.

Light Sensitivity/ Photophobia

If you find yourself experiencing sensitivity from light, it can be a common symptom of concussion, a brain injury. Having light sensitivity is known as photophobia, which arises after some days, weeks, or even months of post-concussion. People with photophobia strongly hate light and feel uncomfortable in bright sunlight, fluorescent lighting, or device lighting, such as computers and phones. This light can irritate them or impact their brain-related structures. However, they can tolerate the indoor lights. 

This problem can further show some symptoms, including: 

  • Ocular pain.
  • Eye strain.
  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Cognitive fatigue.
  • Vertigo or dizziness.

Vision Loss

Vision loss can be partial or complete. You may feel unable to see even in light or lack of vision. For instance, you may see blind spots in the periphery or only see half of the vision, which is known as suppression. This is due to bruising, broken blood vessels, and swelling. Do not just overlook this problem, and do not depend on eye drops, cleaning eyeglasses, or contact lenses. This is a severe problem that can cause complete vision loss if ignored. Seek your eye care professional immediately. 

This problem can further show some symptoms, including: 

  • Double vision.
  • Poor depth perception.
  • Suppression.
  • Strabismus.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headaches.
  • Eye strain.
  • Motion sensitivity.

Ocular Pain/ Eye Pain

Another symptom you can experience due to head trauma is eye pain. Around the eye, you can feel the burning, itchiness, or redness, giving you a dull ache. A concussion can also create accommodation spasms that make the eyes contract for some time, resulting in eye pain. Moreover, inflamed muscles due to head injury or photographic exposure can also cause eye pain. 

This problem can further show some symptoms, including: 

  • Reduced visual field.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Problems with eye-hand coordination.
  • Nausea.

Abnormal Eye Movements

Another common concussion eye symptom is abnormal eye movements. If you experience brain injury can directly affect your eyes because visual functionalities directly reflect brain functions. Concussions can lead to the inability to track or focus on moving objects or focus while moving the head, causing weakened or delayed abnormal eye movements.

This problem can further show some symptoms, including: 

  • Tracking problems (inability to view visuals).
  • Nystagmus (inability to look up or down, side to side, or circular motions). 
  • Strabismus (inability to look inward, outward, up or down).

Visual Motion Sensitivity

This is the most common symptom experienced in concussion. The visual, vestibular, and somatosensory (muscles and joints) become unreliable. The main causes are sensory conflict or mismatch among the visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems and dysfunction of the central nervous system due to brain injury controlling your ability to process complex external stimuli, making you feel disoriented or uncomfortable.

 This problem can further show some symptoms, including: 

  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Imbalance.
  • Disorientation.
  • Falling or stumbling.

Vertical Heterophoria

VH is a vertical eye misalignment that can develop from brain injury. This misalignment can put pressure on the eye muscles, causing you to feel a headache or eye pain. The brain gives false signals to the eyes, troubling eye alignment and eye muscles, causing strain. VN, also known as binocular vision dysfunction, affects eye muscles' movement and coordination.

This problem can further show some symptoms, including: 

  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Light sensitivity.
  • Reading difficulties.
  • Loss of balance.

Vision Testing After Concussion

Before treatment, it is essential to get the proper testing of your vision, which may include the following tests:

Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT)

ImPACT is a computerized test that is used to test common types of traumatic brain injury (TBI) by evaluating a person’s brain health by comparing post-concussion brain function with pre-concussion brain function and making a comparison is the measurement of memory, reaction time, and brain processing speed. It takes 25 minutes to complete its testing. The test results may help the development of an effective rehabilitation plan.

The King-Devick Test 

Using a rapid number naming assessment, the K-D test is a two-minute assessment to test eye movements, attention, and language. Numbers are displayed on an electronic tablet, and the patient has to read each number aloud. Doing so helps the doctor identify the proper issue and evaluate saccadic eye movements, rapid movements with both eyes, processing speed, and visual tracking.

Convergence Testing

Convergence testing tests the eye's ability to work together and roll or move your eyes inward towards each other. It also finds out how much struggle your eyes are making while focusing on a nearby object. A simple test for this condition involves looking at an object as it moves closer to your face. 

Treatment Options For Eyes Issues After A Concussion 

If a vision problem occurs after a concussion, a proper diagnosis and treatment are required to avoid further severe issues. The diagnosis is made by a neuro-optometrist using assessment tools, and the doctor considers your medical history to treat vision problems related to head injuries, strokes, and neurological diseases. Based  on the functional vision exam, the neuro-optometrist will prepare a treatment plan which may include the following treatment options:

Prescription Lenses 

Prescription lenses are used to make your vision correct. They improve your eyesight by altering the direction of light rays so you can properly see through your retina. There are many types of prescription lenses, glasses, or contacts, such as single vision, bifocal, progressive, and high index lenses with their own functionalities, which are prescribed with the lens's strength based on the functional exam performed by an optometrist. They check whether you need to be nearsighted, farsighted, or require multiple prescriptions in one lens. 

Prism Lenses

Prism lenses are used to treat double vision and other diplopia vision difficulties. If your optometrist examines in the functional exam that you see two separate images of one object, then you need prism lenses. The main work of these lenses is to disperse light into a spectrum or redirect light in a way that hits the retina. It also helps to prevent eye strain. They do not correct any refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. 

Syntonic Phototherapy

Syntonic phototherapy is a simple light therapy treatment for correcting your vision problems. While it is used to treat lazy eyes, eye turns, and eye-focusing issues, it is also a proven treatment for treating learning disorders and decreases the effects of brain injuries, concussions, and even stress occurrences. This therapy works by using specific light colors like blue, violet, orange, yellow, and red, frequencies, and wavelengths to improve and balance the brain's regulatory system, such as vision and biochemistry of the brain, which influence chemical, hormonal, and electrical balances between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Neuro-Optometric Therapy

Neuro-Optometric therapy treats blurred vision, double vision, headaches, eyestrain, tracking difficulties, balance dysfunction, and visual fatigue. It also deals with processing challenges (thinking about what you see) caused by brain injury. Skilled therapists perform it under a neuro- optometrist's direction to restore impaired visual skills and abilities. This therapy uses a highly customized combination of visual exercises, specialized prism lenses, filters, and occlusion to stimulate interrupted brain parts. 

Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is used to get clear and comfortable vision by strengthening and improving visual skills through doing different eye exercises or using various eye training tools. It helps to rebuild your focus and eye-tracking process and make your eyes work together again. The exercises are done under the supervision of vision specialists to improve brain regions that process visual information, hand-eye coordination, and balance. This is the most preferred treatment for vision problems, as this non-surgical treatment can be easily done on children and adults. 

Some Precaution Tips For Concussion Eyes

There is a saying, “What's meant to be will be,” but for your safety, you can take some precautions and steps to avoid the chances of head injury or concussion so you do not have to face severe damage such as concussion eyes. You can take the following preventive measures:

  • Always wear a seatbelt while driving.
  • Use car seats while in a car.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear while playing sports.
  • Wear a helmet when bike riding.
  • Remove fall hazards in your home.


Finally, we have concluded with the necessary information about concussion eyes you may need to know. People with concussion eyes can significantly affect vision, such as double vision, eye tracking issues, or light sensitivity, among other symptoms. Understanding the symptoms is crucial to be aware of so you can self-diagnose that you are having a concussion or head injury. If you find any symptoms related to concussion eyes, immediately seek an eye-care professional to get an accurate recovery and prevent long-term damage.


1. Can concussion cause eye problems?

Ans: Yes, concussion, mild brain injury, can cause severe eye problems as our visuals or vision directly depends on our eyes and brain. So, if there is an injury in your head, it can affect the muscles of your eyes, too.

2. What are the visual signs of eye concussion?

Ans: The visual signs of eye concussion are:

  1. Double vision.
  2. Poor eye tracking ability and focus.
  3. Loss of binocular vision (eye alignment).
  4. Eye strain.

3. How long do vision problems last after a concussion?

Ans: Usually, the vision problems after a concussion go away within some weeks, months, or years. But remember to pay attention and seek medical help if it lasts over a few weeks. 

4. Can I fix my blurry vision naturally?

Ans: To fix your blurry vision naturally, you can try the following tips:

  1. Lubricate the eyes.
  2. Improve air quality. 
  3. Avoid allergens.
  4. Take omega-3 fatty acids.
  5. Take vitamin A.

5. How does a doctor treat a concussion in the eye?

Ans: Your doctor can advise you on neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy, which involves a customized vision therapy, optical prisms, or therapeutic lenses.

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Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson is a New York based Health Specialist Writer who completed his graduation from Syracuse University back in 2015. His writings were published in the top Healthcare brands in the United States.

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