Hillary Clinton’s Concussion and Double Vision
Difficulty with vision is often an overlooked symptom following a brain injury, concussion, stroke, or any kind of acquired brain injury.
Recently, Hillary Clinton fell after she fainted and suffered a concussion. During the course of her medical care following the concussion, a blood clot was also found in a vein that runs between the skull and the brain, behind her right ear. You may have heard reports that Mrs. Clinton was doing well and suffered no neurological damage. However, you may have also seen the reports where she wore glasses with Fresnel prism (a prism in the form of adhesive plastic placed on the lenses) due to double vision. This is most likely an issue resulting from her concussion and neurological insult.
A lot of people who have suffered an acquired brain injury notice changes in their vision. If a person, like Mrs. Clinton suffers from double vision (diplopia), everyday tasks can become very difficult. Thankfully, there is help available. An optometrist knowledgeable in vision rehabilitation and the effects of an acquired brain injury on vision can provide a thorough eye examination, diagnose the problems, and provide or prescribe treatment. Treatment may include one or more of the following: glasses with prism, exercises for your eyes, and/or surgery. Prism can be ground into the lens or an adhesive (Fresnel) prism placed on your glasses such as what Mrs. Clinton was seen using. The prism can shift the image to help align the 2 images seen from each eye. Another type of treatment, and often performed concurrently, involves eye exercises to teach the person’s eyes how to work together again. Much like a person who suffers from hemiplegia following a stroke would participate in therapy to regain movement and control of their affected limbs, a person can participate in vision therapy to improve eye teaming skills. Surgery may also be recommended to better align the eyes.
Hopefully, Mrs. Clinton will continue to improve and resolve her diplopia. In the meantime, hopefully more awareness will be brought to visual dysfunction and treatment options following an acquired brain injury and concussion such as Mrs. Clinton’s.
For more information on Fresnel prisms, vision therapy, and symptoms following an acquired brain injury please visit the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association website (nora.cc)
To find out more about how prisms can help diplopia visit: http://www.glassescrafter.com/information/prism-in-eyeglasses.html