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Eye and Vision Care

Diagnosed by Eye Specialist

07/19/2011

Question:

I was diagnosed with photophobia and visual disturbances following a head injury. Photophobia is still a real problem for me involving pain from even daylight and colour. My spectacles are 85 per cent tinted. I have eye muscle problems with my left eye only, sunken in eye socket, dropped down in eye socket. I still have left eye pain with activity and I have noticed in the past that if I cry tears only flow from my right eye. Should I be concerned about this. A CT for brain trauma showed early cerebral atrophy and early cerebellar atrophy. My right eye is no concern. I leer to the left since head trauma.

Answer:

It is difficult to give an opinion on the nature of your eye problems since I do not exactly know what ocular conditions are present.

I am going to discuss some possible explanations.

The photophobia is a common problem following head trauma. It could be do to damage in the visual pathway or could be do to inflammation in the eye itself. Based on your statements that the eye is "sunken in...and has dropped in the socket", and that the eye is painful; I am wondering whether there is active inflammation in the eye. If it is in fact inflammation in the eye, then some topical medications can help alleviate this. If the eye is not inflammed then the problem rests in the visual system and can really only be managed with tinted spectacles and/or tinted contact lenses.

The tearing problem could be due to damage the lacrimal gland on the left side (this gland produces watery tears) or it could be due to damage to the nerves that innervate (control) the lacrimal gland.

I do not want to comment on the cerebral or cerebellar atrophy as I do not have enough information.

I suggest contacting your current eye care professional to schedule a visit or to get some of your questions answered. Since that individual has most likely examined your eyes, he/she will be more capable of answering your questions.


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Response by:

Aaron  Zimmerman, OD, MS Aaron Zimmerman, OD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University