Vision Problems and Traumatic Brain Injury: What You Need to Know

Vision Problems can occur even after minor brain injuries, including concussions. Sometimes symptoms do not emerge until some time has passed after the initial injury. 

Depending on the part of the brain that is affected, visual processing and perception can be affected. 

If the patient notices vision changes, it is essential to follow up with an eye specialist. Some specialize in visual changes after head injuries and know how to best address symptoms.

 

How is Vision Connected to Brain Injury?

Vision includes how our brains process what we see. Vision affects other areas of the body, including how we think and move. If vision is impacted, it can affect many different areas of our daily life. Reading, driving, and completing tasks at work can all be affected. 

 

How are Vision Changes Diagnosed?

Many providers who specialize in rehabilitation for brain injuries can diagnose vision problems. Sometimes therapists or clinicians in inpatient neuro-rehabilitation centers are the first to notice. Often they will make a referral to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

There are even neuro-ophthalmologists who specialize in visual problems after head injury. They have additional training to address the specific needs of head injury patients. 

 

What are Common Visual Changes in Head Injury Patients?

Several visual changes can occur due to a head injury. Some common problems include: 

  • Blurred vision, especially for objects that are up close
  • Decreased peripheral vision
  • Double vision

Sometimes the patient even has complete vision loss in one or both eyes. Problems with vision are dependent upon the area of the brain that is affected. 

 

What Happens if Visual Changes are not Treated?

If left untreated, visual problems can become serious. It can affect the patient’s ability to organize and process visual information. It can lead to poor depth perception and also affect balance.

Daily living tasks can become more challenging to complete. This can include: 

  • Reading, watching television, or work on the computer
  • Being bothered in environments with specific lighting
  • Leaning forward or backward or even walking due to balance issues
  • Difficulty scanning and visual coding information 

 

How are Visual Changes Treated?

Ophthalmologists may make different recommendations dependent upon the type of injury. 

They might recommend taking frequent breaks and resting the eyes. This is important when doing activities that may place stress on the eyes such as reading, watching television or when on the computer. 

Ophthalmologists and opticians may prescribe magnifying glasses as they can make objects easier to see. Electronic readers can be helpful to increase the print size and make it easier for the patient to see. 

Avoiding specific environments where the light is bothersome can be especially helpful. Fluorescent lighting can be especially irritating for head injury patients. Tinted glasses can sometimes be beneficial if patients are sensitive to lighting after head injuries. 

Avoiding visual overload is also suggested. This means keeping areas free of clutter and organized. It’s helpful to keep all items neat and in one place. This also helps with memory as patients know where to find items without additional stress. 

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Where Can I Get Help for a Traumatic Brain Injury?

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehabilitation facility specializing in Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and other complex injuries. Its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech, cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary, vocational counseling, and more. 

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. 

Contact us for more information today! You can simply give us a call at Give us a Call 800.626.3876 or make a referral. We can help patients to get their life back!

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Traumatic Brain Injuries – Definition, Types, Rehabilitation Options

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain suffers a temporary or permanent neurological dysfunction due to an accident. A brain injury is up to 10 times more common than a spine injury, according to recent studies. 

The number of people suffering from traumatic brain injury is underestimated as they are often misdiagnosed or classified incorrectly. Add to that that some patients don’t report mild injuries, and it becomes more evident that the number of patients with traumatic brain injuries can be high.

In 2010, the last year with reported data, approximately 2.5 million people sustained a traumatic brain injury. Moreover, it is estimated that TBI is the cause of 30% of injury-related deaths in the US. 

Most brain injuries follow motor-vehicle accidents, falls, or assaults and are more common among men than women, with the difference being associated with risk-taking behavior. In this article, we will take a look at the types of TBIs and some of the rehabilitation and treatment options available for patients at NeuLife Rehab.

 

Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

Focal Injury

This results from direct mechanical force (such as those when the head strikes the windshield in a motor vehicle accident) and is usually associated with brain tissue damage visible to the naked eye. 

A common cause of focal injury is a penetrating head injury, in which the skull is perforated, as frequently occurs in auto accidents, blows to the head, and gunshot wounds. Focal injuries typically have symptoms that are related to the damaged area of the brain. Some of the injuries classified as focal include but are not limited to:

  • Cerebral contusion (when the brain is bruised as a result of contact with the skull)
  • Epidural hemorrhage (bleeding resulting from skull fracture)
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain tissue)3

 

Diffuse injury 

The injury is caused by hypoxia, meningitis, and damage to blood vessels. Unlike focal injuries, which are usually easy to detect using imaging, diffuse injuries may be challenging to see and define; often, much of the damage is microscopic. 

Diffuse injuries can result from acceleration/deceleration injuries. Some of the injuries classified as diffuse include but are not limited to:

  • Ischemic brain injury (as a result of insufficient blood supply to the brain)
  • Diffuse axonal injury (widespread damage to the white matter of the brain that usually results from acceleration/deceleration types of injury)
  • Swelling (an after-effect of an injury, can lead to dangerous increases in intracranial pressure4)

 

Consequences of TBI

The range of severity of traumatic brain injuries is broad, from a mild concussion to persistent vegetative states. Depending on the severity of the injury, the consequences may vary. 

They include:

  1. cognitive impairment 

  • long- or short-term memory loss
  • difficulty learning and memorizing new things 
  • short attention span 
  • speech problems
  • lack of concentration
  • problems with reading and writing
  • neurological impairment 

  • difficulty with walking, coordination, or balance; 
  • loss of taste, hearing, vision or smell; 
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • behavioral changes 

  • anger, 
  • frustration 
  • impatience
  • reduced self-esteem 
  • impulsivity
  • anxiety 
  • PTSD 
  • apathy 
  • lifestyle consequences 

  • unemployment 
  • loss of independence 
  • financial problems caused by medical bills, etc.

 

 

How Long is Rehab for a TBI?

How long rehabilitation lasts at TBI rehabilitation centers is dependent upon the severity of the brain damage. The patient’s response to therapy also plays a factor. Some patients can return to the same level of functioning as before the injury, while others require life-long assistance. 

Some standard instructions provided to families following neurorehabilitation include:

  • Reporting any unusual signs and symptoms that are new
  • What might be expected behaviors and symptoms specific for the patient
  • Safety and self-care education
  • Medication education 
  • Community support resources

Sometimes the effects of a TBI do not emerge until years after the injury. Patients who have had a TBI are at a higher risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. This is why it is important to understand that, although progress may be made during the patient’s stay at a post-acute rehabilitation center, the patient will need ongoing long-term monitoring. 

 

What to Expect From a Neuro Rehab Center Near Me

Brain injury rehabilitation can take place in a variety of settings. There are both inpatient and outpatient TBI rehabilitation centers. There are also home-based options. Some TBI patients participate in day programs so they can go home with family at night. 

Programs are individualized but typically include:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Medication
  • Psychiatric care
  • Speech and language therapy

The appropriate program for your loved one will vary based on the type of injury and ability to participate.

Brain Injury Rehabilitation ProgramNeuLife Rehab Programs

At NeuLife, we know that every injury is different, and each patient faces their own set of challenges. 

This knowledge is the driving force behind our individualized approach to care. 

The brain injury rehabilitation program at NeuLife offers a full continuum of services for patients who have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), non-traumatic/mild brain injury (MBI), and acquired brain injury (ABI) including a stroke. 

Our comprehensive program addresses the specific needs of each patient and family. The team focuses on maximizing abilities, providing education, increasing mobility, and preventing complications. Our brain injury rehabilitation program includes clinical evaluations, medical care, and therapeutic activities customized to meet each patient’s goals, needs, and abilities. 

By leveraging a variety of rehabilitation services, we can create an integrated approach focused on helping each patient recover skills associated with activities of daily living (ADLs) using compensatory strategies and mobility aids to achieve a seamless transition into the community. Every component of the treatment plan is customized to the individual patient for guaranteed results.

If you have any questions at all or would like to schedule a tour around our modern, patient-friendly facility, please do contact us – we are looking forward to seeing you!

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Sports-related traumatic head injuries

Sports-related head injuries are so common that they are the second leading cause of injury after motor vehicle accidents. Often when we hear the word “concussion,” we associate it with a sports injury. 

But how critical can these injuries be, and are there long-term effects of a head injury? Every athlete and family member needs to become educated on head injuries because long-term consequences result in permanent damage. 

Sometimes injuries are so severe they require post-acute rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programs aim to help athletes heal and regain many skills so they can return to their (as close as possible) pre-injury state. 

 

How Do I Know My Athlete Has a Head Injury?

Sometimes you may not know your athlete has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) initially. One of the most common signs is a change in mental status. Other symptoms can include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Memory Concerns
  • Sleeping Difficulties

If you are suspicious of a TBI, it is imperative that the athlete continues to play and is evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. 

A doctor may perform a thorough evaluation which may include neurocognitive testing. They will be looking for baseline functioning in areas such as memory, problem-solving, and attention. Loved ones can often assist by working with the professional to note any changes in these areas as the evaluation is performed. 

 

The Levels of Sports-Related Head Injuries

Some professionals use a grading system to classify a head injury and then determine when an athlete is ready to play again. The system consists of five different levels:

  • Level one- Mild trauma to the head such as a contusion or laceration 
  • Level two- An increase in symptoms. The athlete may experience symptoms such as headaches or dizziness.
  • Level three- Mild TBI where some change in mental status may be seen. The athlete may even have a temporary loss of consciousness. 
  • Level flour- A TBI where the patient experiences a loss of consciousness for over a minute but under 5 minutes. They may also experience some amount of memory loss. 
  • Level five- A severe TBI that can even be life-threatening. There may be bleeding in the brain or increased intracranial pressure. Athletes who lose consciousness for over 5 minutes or have amnesia for more than 24 hours can be considered in this category. 

If the patient has a more severe injury such as a level four or five, they may require more intensive rehab at reputable neuro-rehabilitation facilities

 

When Can My Athlete Return to Play?

You never want to rush the athlete to return to play after a head injury. They can be at risk for post-concussive syndrome, where multiple head injuries are sustained on top of one another, putting them at serious risk of severe damage. 

Their doctor will determine when or if they can return to their sport after suffering a TBI. The most critical factor is their health and safety always. 

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Where Can I Find Rehab for a Brain Injury? 

NeuLife Rehab is a residential post-acute rehab facility specializing in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, neurological disorder rehab and more. Our skilled team provides rehabilitation to patients with many types of brain injury, including sports-related traumatic brain injuries. The goal is always to help the patient return to their pre-injury state as much as possible. 

Neulife’s treatment programs include physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary, and vocational counseling, and more. 

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, our inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites.

If you believe your athlete can benefit from our services, please contact us today! You can also make a referral or schedule a tour!

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Cognitive Therapy Strategies After Traumatic Brain Injury

The nature and extent of the cognitive impairment following TBI can range widely, depending on the severity and positioning of the injury. If a focal brain injury transpires, the outcome could be comparable to an injury provoked by a CVA (Cerebrovascular accident or stroke), such as: 

  • Aphasia

Impacting the ability of the patient to communicate either written, spoken or both.

  • Apraxia

The loss of ability to do motor skills due to brain injury

  • Unilateral neglect

Involves inattention of sensory on one side of the body and over attention of sensory on the other. 

  • Visuospatial dysfunction

 Involves understanding how objects are in relation to space

Nevertheless, these are the usual findings following TBI. Due to the mechanisms of acceleration-deceleration, the most common symptoms include and memory deficiency, difficulty in adhering to new data, solving problems, planning, and problems linked to impulsivity and self-control. 

Some “subclinical” findings such as a change in naming, verbal fluency, and auditory perception are also reported. In the initial stages, attention deficits are the most frequent and severe in the residual stage, usually concerning difficulty sustaining divided attention. 

The long-term memory is usually regained, but some patients maintain challenges in learning new information and remembering it.

What is Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for brain injury

CBT is the therapy used to address emotional disturbances in patients with a TBI. Evidence has shown patients have made the most progress when this type of therapy is incorporated into their treatment plan with the ultimate goal of acclimating back into society. 

CBT addresses defects in attention, memory and functioning. This helps them to be better able to participate in all areas of rehabilitation while in a post acute rehabilitation center. Included are:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Recreational Activities
  • Exercise Programs
  • Nutritional Counseling

Let’s look more closely at how CBT improves cognitive functioning overall. 

 

How Can I Improve My Cognitive Function After Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the most critical elements in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation is cognitive therapy. Cognitive Behavior Therapy aids people in achieving specific changes or goals, which might include:

  • A way of acting: e.g., smoking less or being more sociable;

  • A way of feeling: e.g., encouraging a person to be less afraid, less depressed, or less worried;

  • A way of thinking: e.g., learning problem resolution or getting rid of self-deprecating feelings;

  • A way of managing physical or medical problems: e.g., reducing back pain or supporting a person in following the doctor’s instructions.

Cognitive Behavior Therapists customarily concentrate more on the present circumstances and their resolution rather than the past. They focus on a person’s viewpoints and beliefs about their life, not on personality characteristics. 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy treats patients and their parents, children, life partners, and families. Superseding outdated, ineffective ways of living, with patterns of living that work, and helping patients gain better control over their lives, is the primary goal of cognitive behavior therapy.

Here are three strategies that will allow therapists and caregivers to set the best conditions for cognitive therapy of TBI patients in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation:

Promote Self-Awareness

The treatment of most executive cognitive functions starts with supporting the self-awareness of deficiencies. 

Without recognizing how impairments influence performance, a patient might be resistant to cooperation with therapists on a recovery program.

For instance, it is challenging for the therapist to work on an anger management program or problem-solving strategies with patients who don’t understand that they face these difficulties.

Develop Goals

Goal-setting considerably affects community participation. A patient without goals has trouble making decisions and becoming motivated to overcome the challenges that go with the TBI functional recovery.

For example, when patients are asked to “consider the consequences” of a specific action, You might urge them to examine the result of this action on the outcome of their goals, like independent living, work, academic progress, more satisfying relationships, etc. Absence of goals compromises behavior change, decision-making, and motivation.

Facilitate Problem-Solving Skills

Through functional activities that build self-awareness and self-confidence, patients may re-establish meaningful life roles and an efficient everyday routine, even when confronted with residual deficits. These qualities, in turn, will allow patients to solve their daily problems more effectively and with confidence. 

How Long Will CBT Take After Brain Injury?

Every brain injury is unique so the time one needs to participate in CBT will vary based on the severity of the TBI. Some patients only need a few sessions while others may participate for years. 

Therapists track progress and goals. They may determine milestones such as when a patient is ready to move out of residential and acclimate to home. It is important no patient be rushed and full patience to get the most out of CBT. 

In the therapeutic relationship, it’s crucial to know how to rate activities, strengthen patient’s self-esteem, and promote long-term patient participation in a home setting and the community.

If, after reading this article, you believe a TBI rehab center is the way to go when it comes to your cognitive therapy needs, and you are wondering, “where will I find the best Neuro Rehab Center Near Me?” look no further! 

Learn More About NeuLife Rehabilitation in Florida 

Have your or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the best TBI rehab centers with specialized catastrophic rehabilitation programs for many devastating injuries. 

Our programs for neuro rehab, including cognitive therapy, are customized to meet each patient’s individual needs, and care plans are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community reintegration. 

Through the skills and experience of our highly trained team of clinical experts, we can treat a wide range of diagnoses and injuries at our brain injury facility.

If you have any more questions concerning post-acute brain injury rehabilitation or any other issue regarding brain injury, call us at 800.626.3876 or make a referral today. You can also schedule a tour to visit our best brain injury facility.

 The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has a lot of repercussions. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can affect many areas of the patient’s life. Limited mobility, memory loss, behavioral changes – these are just some of the things that people who sustained TBI – and their families – may encounter. 

Suddenly, life becomes very different. Activities that used to come easily may now be challenging. Walking, eating, even interacting with others can seem like a big task.

Behavioral changes

Behavioral changes are often part of the new reality, and that’s understandable. After all, our brain controls every single aspect of our body and mind. The fact that we can move, speak, think – it’s all thanks to that one organ. And when it suffers damage, things change, often very drastically. 

People who are affected by TBI face many difficulties that other people may not understand or which they underestimate due to their lack of knowledge about TBI. It’s also difficult for people around the patient, that is, their friends and family. They often feel like they don’t know their loved ones anymore. 

Who is that angry, impulsive, violent person? He used to be so gentle/quiet/loving, etc. ‘Used to’ meaning: before the accident. 

Unfortunately, people affected by TBI may see a character change; in fact, it’s very common that the person who used to be patient and understanding now becomes easily frustrated and can even display violent behavior. 

The biggest challenge that families face is being patient and understanding that it’s not the person’s will to behave like that—their brain is simply taking over.   

How to Best Handle Memory Difficulties

Individuals with a TBI are especially at risk of memory difficulties. Often they remember events that happened years ago but have difficulty with remembering what happened yesterday. 

The good news is that memory generally gets better over time. 

You might also notice that they only remember parts of the events that occurred. Sometimes it is difficult for them to “fill in the blanks” about specific details. 

There are suggestions you might try as a caregiver that can help improve the memory of the patient:

  • Structured tasks and activities

  • Use memory aids such as a large calendar or notebook. Use a large dry-erase board to write out the daily schedule for the patient.

  • Allow the patient to have rest when needed. This helps to manage many of the emotions they may be experiencing. 

  • Set aside time to review tasks and to learn new information at a pace appropriate for the patient

  • Also, be sure to give all prescription medications as prescribed and speak with the physician about how medications meant to help with memory are working. 

Managing Life With a TBI

Initially, the patient must rest the first weeks after the injury. This has to be balanced with care and interventions, as the sooner they can participate in therapies, the better the outcome.

Setting routines can be very helpful. Having a consistent day can help to keep the patient from becoming overwhelmed. It also is beneficial to allow them to heal from the injury as it helps to improve memory. 

With a TBI, patients often become overwhelmed with stimuli and may have difficulty focusing. Caregivers can help by minimizing distractions and making helpful accommodations. Patience and understanding are also key to managing life with a TBI. 

It is hard for some people to understand the behaviors of patients with a TBI. They usually look “normal” on the outside but have many internal struggles; explaining the limitations of your loved one to others when necessary can generally lead to empathy and understanding.

You may feel burn-out or caregiver guilt because of the behaviors. Never hesitate to reach out to a post acute rehabilitation center for guidance of what may be an appropriate level of care for your loved one. 

Taking care of a patient with TBI

Caring for a patient with TBI requires patience and understanding. It depends on the case, but these patients require a lot of attention and care. 

A person who used to be fit and healthy may now find it impossible to perform everyday activities such as eating or going to the toilet. Although the patient’s family is always very much involved, they can’t care for their loved one on their own. 

That’s why a brain injury facility such as ours becomes a necessity. Patients get everything they need, from the necessary assistance to specific treatment, including physical and behavioral therapies, as they aim to regain as much of their independence as possible.

Integrating the patient back into the community

Experts cannot emphasize the importance of occupational therapy for patients with TBI enough. Thanks to the rehabilitation process, patients have a chance of getting back to their everyday life, or at the very least, becoming as independent as they can be in light of their injuries. 

Its goal is also to determine what the patient’s place is in the community. Will they be able to perform the same job as before the accident? And if not, what sort of job will they be capable of doing? 

Our rehabilitators work relentlessly to bring back as many skills as possible. Speech therapy, rehabilitation, physical therapy – these are just some of the components of treatment at our brain injury facility. Our goal is to integrate the patient back into the community. 

Neuro Rehab in Florida – Community Integrated Rehabilitation

Our Community Integrated Rehabilitation program is a hallmark of our functional approach towards rehabilitation. We embrace the philosophy that each individual, regardless of disability, has the potential to live a meaningful life in their community. 

Significant emphasis is placed on facilitating community re-entry, with hands-on and real-life therapeutic opportunities to bridge rehabilitation with reality. Our Community Integrated Rehabilitation is designed to prepare the patient and family for a successful return home with the highest level of functional independence. 

We achieve this seamless transition through a combination of therapies, simulated activities, and outings, education, and training.

Community Integrated Rehabilitation Services include:

  • Dedicated Functional Improvement Team (FIT)
  • Therapeutic community outings via NeuLife accessible van
  • Vocational resources & therapies
  • Simulated activities of daily living
  • Group therapies & activities for socialization
  • Skill Building Trips

Wondering, “Where is the Best Neuro Rehab Center Near Me?”

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in Catastrophic Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and other complex injuries. Its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech, cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary, vocational counseling, and more. 

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. 

If your loved one is in need of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, please give us a Call at 800.626.3876. You can also make a referral or schedule a tour.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.