What You Can Expect after a Traumatic Brain Injury
Scientific studies consistently show that increased sensitivity to both light and sound are commonly reported by individuals who have suffered a concussion or TBI. Though the incidence of sound sensitivity, or phonophobia, is slightly higher (50%), almost as many victims of head trauma (43%) report an uncharacteristic aversion to bright lights (known as “photophobia”). In a world in which most individuals commonly use hand-held devices that generate both light and sound, those symptoms can easily be aggravated.
The Sensitivity to Sound after a Concussion
Concussion victims report discomfort with a broad range of aural signals after a head injury. For many, the normal day-to-day environment noises can be amplified, such that sounds typically within acceptable ranges can seem loud or offensive. Unfortunately, sensitivity to sound is often overlooked or ignored when treating a person who has suffered a head injury. The National Institute of Health (NIH), in a study of athletes who had suffered concussions, found that they showed greater sensitivity to a wide range of sounds than subjects who had not sustained a head injury.
The Impact of Light after a Head Injury
As a general rule, photophobia is most severe during the first three weeks following a concussion. In some instances, though, a patient can experience sensitivity to light for months or even years. Studies have shown that dark glasses typically provide only limited relief, whereas specifically colored glasses—blue, green, red and purple, in particular—have proved far more effective.
The Connection between Sensitivity to Light and Sensitivity to Sound
A number of studies have found that concussion victims who experience phonophobia are more likely to suffer from photophobia as well. One such study of athletes who had suffered concussions found that four out of five complained of sensitivity to both sound and light.
If you have experienced any type of bump, blow or violent shaking of your head, you should immediately schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor will have the tools to conduct a thorough examination and either prescribe a regimen of care or refer you to a specialist.
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience working successfully with individuals who suffer any type of concussion, TBI or traumatic brain injury. Call us toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio.