Ask an Eye Doctor and Get an Answer ASAP
The accident happened on April 6th. I went to my eye doctor just 2 weeks ago. That was the last exam I had.
Do you recall if your eye doctor used some of the following terms?
Which eye is involved (or is it both)? Have you experienced any loss of vision in that eye?
No, I don't remember her using any of those terms. The left eye is the one I am having trouble with. I have lost quite a bit of vision. I have always had good vision but now I have trouble even reading large print or even street signs.
Trauma can cause damage to the optic nerve as well as enlargement or swelling. This is sometimes called traumatic optic neuropathy. Possible treatments for this are steroids to decrease swelling and/or surgery to decompress the structures around the nerve. However, these treatments used to be done at time of injury and have actually fallen out of favor because there was no proven benefit. Currently, the only treatment for traumatic optic neuropathy is observation.
Another thing to consider, is increased intracranial pressure (increased pressure around the brain). This can occur shortly after a traumatic brain injury. When the pressure around the brain is elevated this can cause your optic nerve to swell. This usually occurs in both eyes but it can be more pronounced in one eye compared to the other. Since you did not have an eye exam immediately following your accident it would be hard to know if you had optic nerve swelling (enlargement) at that time. The only way to know for sure if you are having optic nerve swelling due to increased pressure around the brain is to have a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to measure the pressure. This can only be safely done after you have had an MRI of your brain. The treatment for increased pressure is medication and sometimes even surgery to help lower the pressure.
I would encourage you to follow up with your eye doctor if you continue to have trouble with your left eye to monitor the enlargement and to check the other eye as well.