Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Ask the Doc: Can a Concussion Affect Hearing and Vision?

Image of Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, a physical therapist for the Fort Drum Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Clinic, New York, uses a model of the inner ear on Feb. 27, 2019, to demonstrate how a concussion can cause inner ear, or vestibular, damage which may result in dizziness, anxiety, depression, moodiness, balance problems and irritability to name a few. (Photo: Warren W. Wright Jr., Fort Drum MEDDAC). Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, a physical therapist for the Fort Drum Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Clinic, New York, uses a model of the inner ear on Feb. 27, 2019, to demonstrate how a concussion can cause inner ear, or vestibular, damage which may result in dizziness, anxiety, depression, moodiness, balance problems and irritability to name a few. (Photo: Warren W. Wright Jr., Fort Drum MEDDAC)

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Hearing Center of Excellence | Vision Center of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Ask The Doc

Dear Doc: A few weeks ago, I fell and hit my head but didn't think much about it.

Afterwards, I started to get terrible headaches. Then, I started to have blurry vision and ringing in my ears.

When I finally went to the doctor, she told me I had a concussion.

I didn't know concussions could affect hearing and vision. Is it typical to have hearing and vision problems from a concussion?

Thanks in advance doc!

-Army Spc. Sandra Headstone


Illustration of a male face with the words "Ask the Doc"Dear My Head Hurts: First, let me say I feel your pain, no matter how you hit your head or were jolted.

Concussions can cause a variety of brain-related issues, including vision and hearing problems. They are classified as a mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

I found the perfect people to talk about this. I contacted Dr. Amy Boudin-George, an audiologist and acting section lead at the Hearing Center of Excellence's clinical care, rehabilitation, and restoration section. HCE also provided me with Dr. Karen Lambert, clinical physical therapist, HCE vestibular program manager.

I also contacted Dr. Felix Barker, the associate director for research at the Vision Center of Excellence. He is the director of rehabilitation and reintegration.

Here's what they said:


It is not uncommon to have hearing, vision, and balance related symptoms after a concussion.

Symptoms can vary during the acute phase (right after a concussion) from person to person.

The good news is that the typical headache and other symptoms from a concussion can resolve completely on their own over time.

Try to maintain an upbeat outlook and expect a full recovery from your concussion. Studies have shown those attitudes to be the greatest influences on positive outcomes.

If you feel you are not improving on a day-to-day basis, it might help to have your symptoms further evaluated by a provider who specializes in concussion assessment.

Sensitivity to light, blurry vision that comes and goes, double vision, and difficulty reading are post-concussion vision problems that can happen. Headaches with visual tasks, reduction or loss of visual field, and difficulties with eye movements also may happen.

If these seem to persist, you are very likely to benefit by seeing your optometrist or ophthalmologist for both immediate and longer term management of your vision problems.

The same is true for ringing in the ears.

You may have experienced damage to the structure and function of your ear, and you might have changes in the way your brain processes hearing. This depends on the nature of the injury.

If you have ringing in your ears that lasts longer than a few weeks and is constant, or you also seem to have some hearing loss, it is a good idea to see an audiologist for a hearing assessment.

If you are having problems with dizziness, get an examination by an audiologist, optometrist or physical therapist that specializes in assessment of the vestibular system (your inner ear's balance and gaze stability system). This may help you find your path to recovery.


Spc. Headstone, I hope you got some positive answers from our experts. Remember, for the most part, concussions get better on their own as long as you can stand the temporary side effects. But don't ignore those symptoms if they don't go away. Seek help from specialized health care professionals who have your hearing and vision at heart.

Also, be careful when outside and wear a helmet and other protective gear if it fits the activity. Concussions not only can happen at home from a fall or bump of the head, but also from sports and military training.

If you feel unwell after a fall or jolt, don't wait to get help.

Good luck my friend and as always…take care out there!

You also may be interested in...

Talking to Your Child about TBI: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans

Fact Sheet
6/8/2022

This TBICoE fact sheet includes age-appropriate strategies adults can use to speak with children about traumatic brain injury—or concussion. It also includes tips on how to help kids cope with changes that impact the family unit.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators

Addressing Family Needs: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans

Fact Sheet
6/8/2022

This TBICoE fact sheet includes ways to build stronger family ties and develop coping strategies for challenges the family may experience after a loved one sustains a concussion—or TBI—such as substance misuse, psychological and emotional trauma, and financial changes.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators

Taking Care of Yourself: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans

Fact Sheet
6/8/2022

This TBICoE fact sheet is directed towards caregivers and provides self-care strategies to avoid caregiver burnout and fatigue when caring for a loved one who has sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators | Psychological Health Center of Excellence

Intimacy and Sexuality Following TBI: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans

Fact Sheet
6/8/2022

This TBICoE fact sheet provides caregivers and those diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury—or concussion— with information for addressing intimacy and sexuality concerns following injury. It includes information on how TBI can affect sexual functioning and behavior, and tips on improving intimacy after a brain injury.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators

Returning Home After TBI: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans

Fact Sheet
6/8/2022

This TBICoE fact sheet shares information and adaptation tips when a loved one diagnosed with a TBI—or concussion—returns home. It includes hot topics such as driving following TBI and ways to avoid a second traumatic brain injury.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators

Help With Ongoing Symptoms Following Concussion/Mild TBI Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
4/28/2021

Although the majority of service members recover from concussion with little to no intervention, some experience symptoms beyond the first three months after their initial injury. This fact sheet addresses why symptoms continue to persist in some patients and how they can cope or seek additional help.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators | TBI Provider Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury

Vision Problems After Concussion Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
3/30/2021

This TBICoE fact sheet helps patients diagnosed with a concussion/mild TBI understand vision problems and provides insight into treatment options.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Provider Resources | Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury | | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

What You Should Know About Concussions Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
3/30/2021

This fact sheet is designed to educate deployed service members about traumatic brain injuries immediately after concussion injury.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Educators

Ride Right Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
8/6/2020

This bicycle safety fact sheet provides tips to protect your head and help prevent TBI while riding a bike. It also includes the signs and symptoms of TBI, and how to get help if you think you sustained a brain injury.

Recommended Content:

A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury

Respect the Road

Fact Sheet
8/6/2020

One of the leading causes of military traumatic brain injury is motor vehicle crashes. This car safety fact sheet provides tips to help prevent TBI while driving a motor vehicle and safety measures to take to keep passengers safe. It also includes the signs and symptoms of TBI, and how to get help if you think you sustained a brain injury.

Recommended Content:

A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness

Heads Up; Sports Safety

Fact Sheet
8/6/2020

This fact sheet provides sports safety tips to prevent or minimize sports-related traumatic brain injury. It also includes the signs and symptoms of TBI, and how to get help if you think you sustained a brain injury.

Recommended Content:

A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness

Head Check: Know Your Helmet, Bicycle and Motorcycle

Fact Sheet
8/6/2020

A Head for the Future aims to raise awareness about TBI among service members, veterans and their families. This fact sheet provides tips for choosing the right helmet for the right ride, with information about different safety features in helmets for bicycling and riding motorcycles.

Recommended Content:

A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness

Head Check: Know Your Helmet, Football and Baseball

Fact Sheet
8/6/2020

A Head for the Future aims to raise awareness about TBI among service members, veterans and their families. This fact sheet provides tips for choosing the right helmet for the right sport, with information about different safety features in helmets for football and baseball.

Recommended Content:

A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness

Cruise with Control

Fact Sheet
8/6/2020

One of the leading causes of military traumatic brain injury is motor vehicle crashes. This fact sheet provides tips on how to stay safe on motorcycles to help prevent TBI while riding. It also includes the signs and symptoms of TBI, and how to get help if you think you sustained a brain injury.

Recommended Content:

A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury

Head Check: Know Your Helmet, Winter Sports

Fact Sheet
8/6/2020

A Head for the Future aims to raise awareness about TBI among service members, veterans and their families. This fact sheet provides tips for choosing the right helmet for the right sport, with information about different safety features in helmets for skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

Recommended Content:

A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness | Winter Safety
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2
Refine your search
Last Updated: April 28, 2022

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.