It could be your eyes.
A concussion occurs when the brain is injured, either directly from a blow to the head or indirectly when the head moves rapidly back and forth (whiplash). A concussion is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Post Concussion Syndrome, also known as PCS, is diagnosed when the symptoms of a concussion last for longer than three months. It should be noted that you do not need to lose consciousness to develop PCS and a mild concussion can lead to severe symptoms (headaches, dizziness, disorientation).
The causes of PCS include:
Not everyone who experiences trauma to the head or whiplash will have a concussion, but individuals who have had concussions in the past are more likely to experience them again. Additionally, women are more prone to concussions due to having less muscular necks. Another factor that could contribute to the higher rate of concussions among women is the fact that the female head tends to be smaller than that of a male.
Female hormones are thought to play a role as well, leading women to experience symptoms like dizziness and nausea – common after a concussion – more acutely than men. Additionally, women tend to report and seek treatment for concussion symptoms more often than men, which in turn has an impact on the statistics.
The more severe symptoms can include:
The Post Concussion Syndrome symptoms can include:
Treatment and proper recovery is key when healing from a concussion. For some individuals, their concussion lasts a few days to a few weeks with proper rest and minimization of stress.
However, for others, a concussion can last several months or longer if treatment is not administered, if a second concussion is experienced before the first concussion fully healed, or if they are just unfortunate.
When someone experiences a concussion, part of the area that is injured involves the pathways that help to align the eyes. This results in a tendency toward misalignment, and a great amount of strain is placed on the eye muscles in an attempt to prevent eye alignment and double vision, leading to severe headaches and eye pain. This is known as Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD).
With BVD, the two eyes have difficulty working smoothly together as a team due to a slight misalignment. While this misalignment can be very subtle, it can make it incredibly difficult for our brain to create one clear image from the images seen by our two eyes.
In people without BVD, our brain is able to transform the images seen by each eye into a single image, which is known as binocular vision.
In people with BVD, there is a slight misalignment between their two eyes resulting in their eyes being out of sync with one another, causing the brain to have a very difficult time processing these two slightly out-of-alignment images to form one clear image.
The result? The brain forces the eye aligning muscles to fix the problem by realigning the eyes. But the realignment is only temporary and misalignment then recurs, which is followed closely by realignment, and the cycle of misalignment and realignment continues. Over time, this places an immense amount of strain on the eye muscles and leads to dizziness and difficulty reading, as well as a variety of other symptoms.
BVD is treated by correcting the eye misalignment using our micro-prism lenses. These glasses bend light in a way that the images seen by your eyes are moved into the position they need to be in, resulting in realigned images. When the images seen by your two eyes are realigned, your brain can easily transform them into one, singular image. Your nausea and other uncomfortable symptoms caused by BVD are significantly reduced or eliminated.
In fact, the average patient will notice a 50% reduction of symptoms by the end of their first visit. Over the next several visits, our team at Vision Specialists of Michigan will fine-tune your lenses so that your nausea and other BVD symptoms can continue to improve and maybe even be eliminated.
Concussions can be a very serious injury, and the majority will heal with time. However if a second concussion is sustained before the first fully healed, permanent damage could result.
If you or a loved one have experienced a concussion and are still having post-concussive symptoms, contact our team at Vision Specialists of Michigan. If BVD is causing your visual symptoms, our micro-prism lenses just might be the solution you need.
PCS stands for Post-Concussion Syndrome. This condition is considered a mild traumatic brain injury with symptoms persisting for at least 3 months.Symptoms can include a headache, dizziness, irritability, nausea, anxiety, and many more debilitating effects.
The time it takes to fully recover from a concussion will depend on the severity of the brain injury and treatment. Some individuals recover from their concussion within days to weeks while others take several months to years.
Yes, symptoms of PCS can become permanent if proper treatment is not provided. The concussion after-effects will continue to persist, including post concussion headaches.
Daily Stomach Ache, Headache, Nausea:
Headaches and Learning Challenges:
Years of Daily Headaches, Nausea, and Dizziness:
Dr. Sandy DiPonio earned her optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in 1996. She is a highly skilled and experienced eye care professional dedicated to giving her patients of all ages excellent and compassionate care. She has a wide variety of experience in binocular vision, pediatric and adult eye care, ocular disease and contact lens fitting. She strives to provide each of her patients the best quality of life they can achieve with their vision through knowledge and education of treatment options.
Dr. DiPonio is a member of the American Optometric Society and Michigan Optometric Society.
Dr. Sally Hoey has been practicing optometry since graduating from Michigan College of Optometry in 2001. During her time in optometry school, she developed an interest in binocular vision, culminating in a senior thesis involving binocular vision.
Prior to joining Vision Specialists of Michigan, Dr. Hoey specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of vision-related learning problems as well as other binocular vision disorders. Her other areas of interest include specialty contact lens fittings and treating dry eye. Dr. Hoey strives to provide her patients with clear, comfortable vision while meeting their individual needs at the same time.
Dr. Hoey had the opportunity to provide eye care on an optometric mission trip to Guyana, South America and vision screenings at a local medical clinic. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, Michigan Optometric Association, Metropolitan Detroit Optometric Society and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.
Dr. Jennifer Place graduated with honors from Michigan College of Optometry in 2001.
Before joining Vision Specialists of Michigan, she specialized in treating pediatric and adult patients with binocular vision disorders and vision-related learning problems, as well as fitting specialty contact lenses and managing various types of ocular disease. She enjoys working with patients with unique visual needs, and she takes great pride in providing all patients with highly customized care.
Dr. Place has volunteered for Opening Eyes, a program that provides eye exams to the athletes of the Michigan Special Olympics, and she participated in an international mission to St. Lucia to provide eye care to those in need. Dr. Place is a member of the Detroit Optometric Society, the Michigan Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association, the College of Vision Development, and the Optometric Extension Program Foundation.
Dr. Mary Jo Ference has been practicing optometry since 1990 upon graduating from Ferris State University- Michigan College of Optometry, and is certified in Low Vision Rehabilitation. She has worked at Sinai-Grace Hospital systems for over 20 years before joining Vision Specialists of Michigan in 2013 to work with binocular vision disorders. Her clinical areas of expertise include visual rehabilitation of pediatric and adult patients who have suffered from brain trauma, injury or disease. She has taught both optometry and ophthalmology residents at Sinai Grace Hospital. Dr. Ference has sat on numerous boards, including Sinai Grace Hospital, Berry Out-Patient Surgical Center, and Seedlings Braille Books for the Blind. She is actively involved in area school districts to provide education, training and access for students, teachers, OT’s and PT’s to eye care service rehabilitation information. Dr. Ference has lectured extensively nationally and internationally.
Dr. Debby Feinberg began practicing Optometry in Oakland County in 1983, upon graduating from Illinois College of Optometry. She joined her father, Dr. Paul C. Feinberg, at Mall Optical Center, which was located in Summit Place Mall.
Since 1995 Dr. Feinberg has been developing the field of NeuroVisual Medicine which is the optometric subspecialty that identifies and treats neurological / medical symptoms that originate directly or indirectly in the visual system.
Dr. Feinberg has been performing pioneering work with Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD), a condition where a vision misalignment (frequently subtle) creates difficulties with the two eyes working together to create a single 3-dimensional image, and difficulties with the two eyes following that image as it moves.
The symptoms caused by BVD are not usually associated with problems with the visual system, and include headache, dizziness, anxiety and panic, persistent post-concussive symptoms, gait instability and balance problems, frequent falls, neck pain, motion sickness, nausea, and reading and learning problems.
In 2004. Dr. Feinberg established Vision Specialists of Birmingham, specifically designing the practice to accommodate the needs of the NeuroVisual Medicine patient.
In 2011, the office moved to its current location in Bloomfield Hills and updated its name to Vision Specialists of Michigan.