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Suzanne Wickum; Visual Deficits & Rehabilitation After Acquired Brain Injury. Journal of Vision 2011;11(15):69. doi: 10.1167/11.15.69.
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There is growing interest in the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of visual and ocular deficits caused by brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 795,000 people suffer strokes each year while an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually. Seventy-five percent of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI. In addition, TBI has been deemed the “signature wound” of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The 2008 Rand report notes that about 30% of troops engaged in combat >4 months may have suffered mild TBI from blast waves of improvised explosive devices and that 57% of soldiers with probable TBI have not been evaluated by a physician for brain injury. Acquired brain injury can have many deleterious effects including visual acuity loss, peripheral visual field loss, hemispatial neglect, binocular vision anomalies, extraocular motility disorders including nystagmus, accommodative disorders, photophobia, and ocular health disorders. Undiagnosed visual problems may interfere with a patient's overall rehabilitation. This presentation will review the impact of TBI on visual function in soldiers and the implementation of visual rehabilitation strategies specially designed for each patient based on their clinical symptoms.
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