For unavoidable injuries, the early detection and treatment of eye and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions, can prevent further harm, injury, and accidents. This page includes educational resources, information, and news about optometry's role in treating TBI.
Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline: Comprehensive Pediatric Eye and Vision Examination
According to AOA's Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline: Comprehensive Pediatric Eye and Vision Examination ( P. 27):
"A majority of concussions occur in the pediatric and adolescent population (5 to 17 years of age), with the 11 to 17-year-old group representing the largest proportion of those injured. 170, 171 Children are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of concussion, often having a more prolonged recovery and poorer outcomes, from a cognitive and developmental perspective, than adults with concussion. 172-175 A recent study found a high prevalence of vision problems in adolescents with concussion along with significant symptoms associated with these vision disorders. 176 The most common binocular vision disorder occurring in postconcussion syndrome is convergence insufficiency (CI) with a prevalence of 49% in children. Other common problems are accommodative insufficiency and saccadic dysfunction.
All children with concussion should see their general practitioner in the event they should need more emergent care and should be scheduled for a comprehensive eye examination to confirm visual capabilities are protected."
For more information on pediatiric eye exam guidlines, please see AOA's Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline: Comprehensive Pediatric Eye and Vision Examination.
Brain injury affects 2.4 million Americans each year. With many doctors of optometry already involved in the diagnoses and rehabilitation of TBIs the AOA has developed a members-only resource, the Brain Injury Electronic Resource Manual (BIERM). The BIERM serves as a comprehensive resource to aid doctors of optometry in evaluating patients with brain injury.
The first section of the BIERM focuses on evaluation and assessment of common visual conditions associated with TBI, including binocular vision, accommodative, and eye movement disorders.To make it easier to use, helpful elements such as a glossary, lists of commonly used equipment and an overview of the numerous tests involved in evaluation are included. The work does not stop with the first volume. A second volume focuses on treatment and management of brain-injured patients over time.
Brain Injury Electronic Resource Manuals
- Volume 1A—Traumatic Brain Injury Visual Dysfunction Diagnosis
- Volume 1B—Traumatic Brain Injury Dysfunction:Optometric Managment and Advanced Topics
Search EyeLearn's vast selection of traumatic brain injury courses.
Concussion Fact Sheet
The AOA has released a fact sheet, entitled " Concussions, Vision & Your Eye Doctor." The fact sheet is designed to help patients understand the role of optometry in concussion diagnoses, management, and care. It also serves to remind patients that regular comprehensive eye examinations can detect visual symptoms of undiagnosed concussions and provide baseline testing. These fact sheets are intended to be placed in your office to encourage more patients, especially those at higher risks for concussions, to visit their eye doctor. The fact sheet is available as a PDF on AOA's Neuro-Optometric and Concussion Care webpages. It is also available and customizable through AOA Marketplace.
For 24 years, the National Optometry Hall of Fame has recognized and honored doctors of optometry who have made significant and enduring contributions to the optometric profession.