Author(s): Stelmack JA, Frith T, Van Koevering D, Rinne S, Stelmack TR
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Abstract BACKGROUND: This observational study describes the "Polytrauma System of Care" used by the Veterans Health Administration to guide medical care and rehabilitation of injured military personnel serving in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and reports the visual function of patients with polytrauma and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the Hines, Illinois, Polytrauma Network Site (PNS). METHODS: A retrospective medical record review was performed for 103 patients with polytrauma seen at the Hines PNS from October 2005 through March 2008 and 88 patients with TBI seen in the Hines TBI Clinic from December 2007 through March 2008. RESULTS: Visual symptoms were self-reported by 76\% of patients with polytrauma and 75\% of the patients with TBI. Problems with reading (polytrauma 60\% and TBI 50\%) and accommodation (polytrauma 30\% and TBI 47\%) were frequently found on eye examinations. Spectacles were the treatment most frequently prescribed (polytrauma 62\% and TBI 78\%). CONCLUSIONS: It is important for optometrists to be aware of the high rates of self-reported symptoms and visual problems in military personnel returning from deployment to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression may complicate optometric evaluation and management.
This article was published in Optometry
and referenced in Optometry: Open Access