Have You Been Wearing The Wrong Lenses?
Once sustaining a concussion you may begin to experience more visual impairments that you hadn’t experienced beforehand. To help speed up recovery from these visual issues that accompany head injuries, special post-concussion glasses may be necessary. However, depending on what issues you are dealing with a different type of post-concussion syndrome glasses will work best.
So, What are Post-Concussion Glasses?
Firstly, post-concussion glasses are glasses meant specifically to help mitigate concussion induced vision symptoms. There are a wide range of visual symptoms that individuals commonly deal with following a concussion, such as:
Poor Depth Perception
Reduced Visual Acuity
Eye movement abnormalities
Visual process issues
Photophobia (light sensitivity)
Pupillary Function Problems
Example of Blurred Vision
Through changing how light reaches your eye or training your eyes and/or brain to work differently to process visual imagery, post-concussion glasses help to alleviate the issues listed above.
Type of Post-Concussive Glasses
Example of Colored Glasses
By changing the color of a lens, tinted lenses make it so only certain wavelengths of visible light through. Different tints have been shown in research to affect your eyes and brain in different ways.
Blue light tends to increase alertness, cognition, and brain oxygenation.
Red light has some research supporting its ability to promote relaxation.
Yellow light has been seen to activate the left prefrontal cortex which could assist with visual pattern recognition.
Green light has some research to support that it doesn’t have the ability to trigger photophobic migraines, thus possibly reducing headache frequency.
Color wavelengths and the areas of the brain they stimulate.
A lot of these findings are only supporting early evidence claims since the relationship between light and brain function is complex. However, there is a clear understanding that colors do affect brain area activation. Studies have begun to test the effectiveness of color-tinted glasses, with one study finding that with trying a variety of different colors, 85% of the study participants experienced some sort of relief from light sensitivity.
Example of a Prism Lens
This type of post-concussion lens has a transparent prism in the middle of each lens that refracts light. Since your eyes are unable to focus on object properly, the prism aims to re-balance and train your eyes to focus a new way.
To see, your eyes need to converge towards the object you are trying to see in order to focus. It is common in patients with concussions that they experience convergence problems. When experiencing convergence issues, a few symptoms that arise are double vision, words jumping on a page, and blurred vision. They have been seen to be most helpful in the early stage of recovery to help patients find relief and relearn how to converge their eyes.
Power of Patients collects all these vision symptoms!
This type of post-concussion glasses is similar to color-tinted glasses; however, they are specific to prevent blue light wavelengths from entering your eyes. Blue light emits from the sun, digital screens, electronic devices, and fluorescent and LED lighting. Each of these outlets often trigger symptoms such as eye fatigue for everyone, and especially for concussed patients.
Blue light, also as previously mentioned as been shown to increase brain activity, which for a patient aiming to recovery from a brain injury, it isn’t always a good thing. Additionally, some research suggests that blue light can even hinder your body’s natural development of melatonin, which a hormone that regulates your circadian rhythms. Sleep is also essential for concussion recovery, thus revealing the benefits of blue-blocking lenses.
Binasal Occlusion Glasses
As occlusion hints, this type of post-concussion glasses, blocks a part of the individuals vision field to train them to focus differently. They are typically suggested for patients experiencing overconvergence. Overconvergence is when the point of convergence, at which your eyes try to focus in on an object, is far too near relative to the actual location of said object. This causes eye strain, headaches and distorted vision for the individual.
Through occluding some of the vision field, binasal occlusion reduces the amount of incoming stimulation. Since the visual system receives information from both eyes, sometimes overwhelming a TBI patient because they struggle with processing all the information, therefore blocking some of the visual field aims to alleviate this.
Just like the name suggests, pinhole glasses are glasses with tiny perforated holes that reduce the amount of light and visual information your eyes take in. Complete exposure to light rays and full vision field can be overwhelming for people with brain injuries, thus these glasses help to reduce the information required to be processed and give your eyes and brain a break.
They are more typically used in certain moments of the day that increase your eye stimulation, such as reading or when you begin to experience visual fatigue.
Example of Pinhole Glasses
Not an All-in-one Solution
Although it is clear that these post-concussion glasses have many benefits, they are not an all-in-one solution for TBI recovery. In combination with other therapies, these glasses can provide relief and speed up recovery time, depending on the patient.
Track Your Eyes with Sallie®
The best way to help yourself following a head injury is to track how you are feeling. With Sallie®, our revolutionary brain injury tracking tool, you can track your symptoms and symptom triggers daily! We offer a comprehensive list of vision symptoms that can be monitored for progress or deterioration. Knowing your visual impairments could influence the type of therapy you seek, as well as which type of post-concussive glasses you and your healthcare provider may have you explore.
We, at Power of Patients, are passionate about the eye-brain connection and its relationship with brain injuries. We are currently working towards a study focusing on photophobia and cannot wait to share it with you soon. Stay Tuned!