TBI may lead to vision problems in war vets: study

February 13, 2013

Palo Alto, CA – Vision problems related to light sensitivity are common among war veterans with blast-related traumatic brain injury, according to a new study from the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

Researchers examined symptoms in 50 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who experienced TBI caused by proximity to a blast or explosion. They compared those to symptoms experienced by 50 patients, mostly civilians, with non-blast-related TBI. Vision-related symptoms such as difficulty reading were present in more than 65 percent of patients in both groups, the study abstract states.

Light sensitivity after a TBI was significantly more prevalent in veterans with blast-related TBI – 67 percent compared with 33 percent among people with non-blast TBI. Focusing problems were common in both groups.

Researchers recommended comprehensive eye examinations for anyone suffering even mild TBI.

The study was published in the February issue of Optometry and Vision Science.