May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Visual Conditions in Veterans Followed at a VA Polytrauma Network Site
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. Stelmack
    Hines VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois
  • S. Rinne
    Hines VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois
  • T. Stelmack
    Optometry, Jessie Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
  • D. Van Koevering
    Hines VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois
    Polytraua Support Network,
  • T. Frith
    Hines VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  J. Stelmack, None; S. Rinne, None; T. Stelmack, None; D. Van Koevering, None; T. Frith, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Department of Veterans Affairs
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 3154. doi:
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      J. Stelmack, S. Rinne, T. Stelmack, D. Van Koevering, T. Frith; Visual Conditions in Veterans Followed at a VA Polytrauma Network Site. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):3154. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : The Veterans Health Administration has established a polytrauma system to provide medical care and rehabilitation services for veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurring during OEF/OIF. The polytrauma network site (PNS) in this system provides post-acute rehabilitation services. An observational study was performed to describe the visual function of veterans receiving vision screening and eye examinations.

Methods: : A retrospective medical record review was performed for all (194) patients with polytrauma and or TBI followed by the PNS.

Results: : Mean age and visual acuity were 30.14 years, .047 log MAR with 4 NLP. Visual field loss was found in 9.52% of those examined. Vision complaints were expressed during screening by 74.24% and 65.15% of those screened were referred for eye examination. Symptoms most frequently reported included: blurred vision (51.28%), difficulty with night vision (23.08%), photosensitivity (43.59%), difficulty reading (35.90%), new reading symptoms since injury (23.08%), diplopia (16.67%), pain around eyes (11.54%), floaters (7.05%), flashes (5.13%) and pain on eye movement (4.49%). Diagnoses included: orbit/eye trauma (15.48%) optic neuropathy (1.19%), other cranial nerve defects (1.19%), strabismus (5.95%), accommodative disorders (39.95%), convergence disorders (17.86%), pursuits/saccade disorders (7.14%), fixation disorders (3.57%), diplopia (9.52%) and suppression (1.19%). Treatments prescribed included: ophthalmic surgery (4.76%), spectacle prescription (54.76%), contact lenses (2.38%), vision therapy (7.14%), blind rehabilitation (5.92%), and low vision rehabilitation (1.19%).

Conclusions: : The frequency of visual symptoms and diagnoses supports inclusion of vison care services at the PNS.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence • visual impairment: neuro-ophthalmological disease • trauma 

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