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Can a brain injury affect my eyes?

The effects of suffering a brain injury are considerable. Many people tend to focus on the physical disabilities that might come after a brain injury. There are several other issues that occur after a person suffers a brain injury. The effects a brain injury has on the eyes are one of those little known effects that are often overlooked.

How are the eyes affected after a brain injury?

A brain injury can cause a patient to suffer from dry eyes. This condition can occur if a patient suffered from a brain injury that was caused by a stroke, a lack of oxygen, or an accident.

Why do dry eyes occur after a brain injury?

Dry eyes occur after a brain injury because the rate at which the person blinks might slow. In some cases, the blinks are incomplete. When the blinks are too far apart or incomplete, the tears from the tear duct aren't moved over the entire eye. This can lead to the cornea drying out.

What happens when a person has dry eyes?

If the cornea of the eye isn't protected with a new layer of tear film and cleaned by blinking, the cornea becomes too dry. That can lead to the eye feeling gritty. It can also cause the eye to burn and feel uncomfortable.

How are dry eyes after a brain injury treated?

Using artificial tears is one treatment. Some patients might be able to cope with dry eyes by having a reminder to blink completely. In some cases, such as when the dry eye condition is severe, silicone tear duct plugs might be inserted to help keep tears in the eyes.

When you look at all the possible effects of a brain injury, it is easy to see why a person likely needs considerable care after the injury. The medical care and personal care necessary means the patient will likely incur a cost. If you suffered a brain injury because of someone's negligence, you might opt to seek compensation to help you cover the expenses of the necessary care.

Source: Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, International, Inc., "Dry Eye Syndromes and Altered Tear / Lid Function," accessed Nov. 23, 2015

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