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Dry eyes can affect traumatic brain injury patients

In our previous blog post, we discussed how medical care for a brain injury can get expensive. Some people might not realize how many medical professionals might be involved in the care of a patient with a brain injury. Eye doctors, for example, might have to be called in to deal with certain aspects of patient care.

Some patients with a traumatic brain injury will suffer from dry eye syndrome if their blinking pattern or eyelid function is affected. If the person blinks very slowly, the corneas can dry out because the lubrication that occurs with normal blinking isn't occurring. When the eyes get dry, they can become irritated. The eye might feel gritty. In severe cases, the cornea might get scratched.

Another issue that can lead to dry eyes after a TBI is if the eyelids aren't closing fully. This leaves the portion of the eye that remained exposed at risk for drying out.

There are several different ways that dry eyes can be combated after a brain injury. Oftentimes, using lubricating eye drops, such as artificial tears, will help the eyes to remain properly lubricated. More invasive methods, such as silicone tear duct plugs, might help to keep the eyes properly lubricated.

As you can imagine, a person who has constantly dry eyes might find the condition difficult to live with. That is only one aspect of irritation that can affect brain injury patients. In some cases, brain injury patients can get the care they need for all aspects of their injury if they seek compensation to help cover the costs.

Source: Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, International, Inc., "Dry Eye Syndromes and Altered Tear / Lid Function," accessed Dec. 17, 2015

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