Undiagnosed & Dangerous

Over in the U.S it is reported that undiagnosed, chronic vision problems are common in U.S. veterans with traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Two studies have released findings that support the statement.

The first looked at 31 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffering from mild blast-related traumatic brain injury. Researchers  found that 67 percent had chronic vision disorders, even though none had suffered direct eye wounds, they  were still experiencing vision problems more than 12 months after the incident that caused their traumatic brain injury.

The problems most commonly reported by the veterans were  light sensitivity and difficulty with convergence, (the ability to focus both eyes simultaneously)  to read or to see nearby objects.

The other issue reported was reduced accommodation, their ability to focus when moving their gaze between far and near objects. These go hand in  hand with a multitude of other serious issues such as complaints about double vision and floaters, and other objects that seem to move across the visual field.

Its reported as having taken five years or more to regain normal vision. Much longer than the recovery time seen in patients with sports-related concussions or non-blast-related traumatic brain injury.

The second study found that veterans with PTSD or depression  were far more likely to develop dry eye syndrome than veterans without mental health disorders.

More than 2 million veterans' medical records were assessed it was found that about 20 percent of those with PTSD or depression  suffer from  dry eye syndrome, a condition that disrupts the tear glands' normal ability to keep the eyes moist.

The average age of veterans with dry eye is younger than dry eye patients in the general population. It's not known if the veterans' dry eye was caused by PTSD or depression, by the medications used to treat these mental health conditions, or a combination of factors, the researchers said.