How Brain Damage Can Lead to Vision Loss
The ability to see is something that many people take for granted. We use our eyes to navigate, communicate, and avoid danger. Unfortunately, sight doesn’t last forever, and many Arizonans experience vision loss as time marches on.
What you may not know, however, is that you can suffer vision loss through brain damage, meaning that an accident that didn’t injure your eyes in any way can still take your sight away.
How The Brain and Eyes Connect
“Losing your vision.” How many of you pictured your eyes getting worse with age? What you may not have realized, however, is the fact that your eyes are only one-third of the equation. Your eyeballs collect light and images. But your brain is what interprets what the eyes pick up. Without your brain’s ability to properly interpret what the eyes see, you would not have the sense of sight. In fact, your eyes can be in perfect working condition, but if your brain is unable to interpret their data, you will not be able to see.
The optic nerve, which is actually a group of five different nerves, connects the back of your eyeball to your brain. These nerves carry the data your eyes pick up all the way to the back of the brain (the occipital lobe), where the data is interpreted. It is these three parts of your body — the eyes, the optic nerve, and the occipital lobe — working together that allow you to see.
Vision Loss and Brain Damage
Since the occipital lobe is located at the back of the head, if you receive a hard-enough blow to the back of the head, you can suffer partial or complete vision loss. You can protect the front of your body by using your hands to shield you, or by curling into a ball. You even have the instinct to protect your eyes. However, it is very hard to protect the back of your head without the aid of safety gear, such as a helmet.
For example, during a slip-and-fall, you may fall backward. Regaining your balance is next to impossible: you can’t use your hands to break your fall, and grabbing a nearby object is difficult when you aren’t falling forward. As a result, you will probably slam into the ground, hard. This can lead to serious trauma, primarily to your occipital lobe. That fall could cost you your ability to see, leaving you with a lifelong disability. Of course, any accident has the potential to lead to similar brain damage and vision loss. A car accident, for example, could result in metal shrapnel hitting the back of your head. Or, if you are attacked by a dog, you could end up slamming your head into the concrete.
It is important to know that signs of this kind of damage may not make themselves immediately known. You may experience a slow loss of eyesight, rather than an immediate one. That is why if you suffered a serious blow to the head, you should always seek medical attention. That way, a doctor can determine how bad the damage is. You should also report any signs of vision loss to your doctor, so that he can give you any possible treatment as soon as possible.
The Difficulties of Brain Damage
There are a number of different kinds of vision loss that you could suffer if you have experienced an injury to the occipital lobe. Remember, if your vision loss is due to a brain injury, the problem lies with your brain’s ability to process the data being sent to it through the optic nerve. That means you may only experience partial vision loss, as parts of your occipital lobe are functional, while other parts are not. You may end up suffering from:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Lowered ability to see at night
- Partial blindness
- Full blindness
While a serious brain injury may not make you completely blind, it can still have a serious impact on your ability to comprehend what’s in front of your eyes. This, in turn, can impact your ability to work, drive, and live independently. You may have to switch careers altogether and will no longer be able to lead a completely independent lifestyle. That can impact not only your financial stability, but your emotional health as well.
If you have suffered vision loss as a result of someone else’s negligence, whether through a brain injury or some other accident, then you deserve compensation. Thankfully, the personal injury attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., may help you get just that. To schedule a free consultation, call our firm at (602) 267-1280 today.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer