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concussion, visual insufficiency, convergency insufficiency, symptoms related to visual disturbances, rehabilitation tool


Introduction: Fifty percent of the 46 000 concussions seen in Canada are sports related, with post-concussive syndrome (PCS) impacting up to 30% of those patients. Individuals who experience PCS will often report headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision with visual disturbances reported in 20-85% depending on the nature of the visual deficit. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and results from an external insult leading to axonal shearing of nerve fibers, which are responsible for the signs and symptoms experienced. Current best practice in treatment involves initial rest followed by increasing aerobic activity as well as visual rehabilitation to reduce the symptoms associated with a TBI. Visual rehabilitation following TBI can take many forms with the vast majority of research focusing on convergence insufficiency (CI). CI is a condition in which the individual’s eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects and is a common binocular vision deficit after TBI. Near point convergence (NPC) occurs when the visual axes intersect at the maximal effort leading to blurred vision, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and reading. Clinicians should consider screening for NPC and using as a rehabilitation tool when managing TBI.

Purpose: The purpose of this literature review was to determine whether visual rehabilitation for CI and NPC is an effective treatment strategy to reduce symptoms associated with a TBI and improve athletes return to life and sport.

Recommendations: Research demonstrates that visual rehabilitation for CI and NPC deficiencies will decrease patient reported symptoms and will return NPC to normal ranges.

Conclusion: Diagnosis, assessment, and rehabilitation of a TBI should involve the visual system due to the integral connections in all aspects of the brain leading to signs and symptoms which can impair an individual’s function of daily living. Further research regarding different visual markers in TBI is needed regarding treatment, specifically surrounding parameters


Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies (FAHCS)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Asimakis, M. (2022). Visual rehabilitation as a treatment tool for collegiate athletes post-mTBI to improve teturn to sport outcomes.[Unpublished paper]. Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies. Sheridan College.

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