Originally published on March 8, 2021. Updated January 23, 2023.
After a car accident, it’s common for victims to not notice any injuries at the scene, but suffer from aches, pains, and other unpleasant side effects that pop up hours or days later. These side effects often linger long after the accident.
That’s because unlike cuts, bruises, and broken bones, not all injuries caused by car accidents are easily visible. And unfortunately, head injuries are very common after car accidents.
You may not even realize you suffered a head injury in your accident until you begin noticing symptoms later, including increased sensitivity to light.
What Does It Mean If I Have Vision Problems After a Car Accident?
While most people assume vision problems are caused by old age or eye injuries where the eye socket is physically struck, they are actually a very common side effect of head and brain injuries.
There are several head injuries that can cause vision problems, particularly after an auto accident.
Light sensitivity is a frequent complaint of those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). This includes concussions.
Different types of light are more painful than others. Some common sources of light that can make concussion symptoms like nausea and migraines worse include:
- “Blue” light, like the kind emitted by computer and cellphone screens
- Fluorescent light, like the kind used in offices and grocery stores
Because these forms of light are everywhere, it can cause major disruptions to the lives and work of people who suffer from this condition after an accident.
According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, light sensitivity is not only common after TBIs, but it can persist for up to 12 months or longer after the accident. Occasionally, increased light sensitivity can become permanent after a TBI.
The forceful impact of a car accident can damage the blood vessels connecting to the back of the eye. Although this is a totally painless injury, it can have serious consequences. A detached retina usually requires surgery as soon as possible, and if it goes untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss. Even with surgery, it can often take months for victims’ vision to return to normal. This can cause problems in both victims’ daily lives and ability to work.
Symptoms of a detached retina include:
- Sudden appearance of floaters in field of vision
- Random, bright flashes of light in one or both eyes
- A shadow or “curtain” obscuring part of your field of vision
Optic nerve damage
This type of injury can occur when increased pressure from a traumatic brain injury essentially squeezes the optic nerve, causing blurred vision or even permanent blindness.
When you suffer from long-lasting or permanent vision problems because of a negligent driver, they should be held accountable. It is especially important to speak to a lawyer if your vision problems affect your ability to work and provide for yourself or your family.
I Have Vision Problems After My Car Accident, But I Didn’t Hit My Head
One very common misconception is that you need to actually hit your head to suffer a brain injury. People may think that just because they weren’t knocked out or didn’t get a bump on their head from hitting it against a dashboard or window in a crash, it means their symptoms can’t be from a head injury.
However, brain injuries don’t always happen from your head hitting something. Brain injuries occur from your brain colliding against the walls of your skull, and the force involved in a fall, hit, or auto accident can cause this to happen even if your head didn’t make contact with anything.
If you are experiencing the following health issues after an accident, please don’t ignore the symptoms:
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision or other vision problems
See a doctor right away for a diagnosis, as it may be an eye or brain injury. Also, make sure to tell them you were involved in an accident, and when it happened.
Catalano Law Helps People After Injuries in a Car Accident
Victims of car crashes often suffer from blurred vision and headaches when exposed to bright light. If this happened to you, you deserve compensation for the pain you are experiencing. Your vision is something that should be taken seriously. When your vision suffers because of someone else’s negligence, they need to be held accountable for the way they’ve upended your life. Contact our Syracuse auto accident attorneys today for a free consultation to learn what we can do for you