winter concussions

Beware of the Increased Risk of Concussions During Winter Conditions

There are a lot of reasons to enjoy winter. After all, it’s the time of joyous holidays and beautiful, snow-covered landscapes. However, it can also bring an increased risk of concussions and that is something to take seriously. At Family Vision Development Center, our priority is protecting and caring for our patients’ vision. Because the colder months can present their own set of hazards that can lead to head injuries – and those injuries can greatly impact a person’s vision – we feel it is important to make you aware of the potential risks of concussions during this time of year, as well as provide information about what to do following an injury.

Potential Winter Hazards

This winter, be aware of the following risks that can lead to concussions:

  • Slippery surfaces – Winter is synonymous with icy sidewalks, snowy driveways, and slippery roads. The increased likelihood of slips and falls on these surfaces raises the risk of head injuries and concussions. Walking outside, even for a moment, can pose a slip-and-fall hazard, as ice may not be clearly visible. And driving can certainly be more dangerous during periods of snow and reduced traction, which can lead to an increased risk of auto accidents.
  • Winter Sports – Activities like skiing, snowboarding, and ice hockey are popular winter pastimes, but they also carry an inherent risk of head injuries. Collisions, falls, and abrupt stops common in these sports can result in concussions. It is crucial to wear appropriate protective gear, including helmets, to mitigate these risks.
  • Reduced Visibility – Winter weather often brings reduced visibility due to fog, snowfall, or early darkness. Impaired visibility increases the chances of accidents, falls, and collisions, subsequently elevating the risk of concussions.

Visual Concerns Following Concussions

While the immediate symptoms of a concussion often include headaches, dizziness, and confusion, the effects on vision are not always as apparent. Here are some ways concussions can affect vision:

  • Eye focusing – not being able to quickly and easily see an object clearly (objects look blurry)
  • Eye Movements and Tracking – not able to easily follow a moving object from one spot to another, or switch fixation from one object to another. Sometimes this can be reported by students saying that words are moving on the page.
  • Depth Perception Issues – difficulty with accurately judging the distance between objects.
  • Eye Teaming – not able to get both eyes to work together to focus on an object, often reported as double vision
  • Peripheral Vision Loss – problems with your wide-angle field of vision, or feeling like you’re looking through a narrow tube

In addition to the visual issues mentioned above, any of the following symptoms can be an indicator of a possible concussion:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, groggy or slowed down
  • Mood or personality changes
  • A general feeling that something is not right
  • Difficulty with sleep

Family Vision for Post-Concussive Visual Rehabilitation

The Family Vision team has specialized training in post-concussive neuro-optometric rehabilitation. We can customize this special type of vision therapy program to target the concussion symptoms you are experiencing in order to restore visual abilities. Those who have experienced a head injury often have difficulty participating in normal, daily activities that once were accomplished easily. It is our passion to help those patients return to their daily lives and continue to pursue their interests.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to get more information or to schedule a consultation.


Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, sports vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.