Measuring tiny eye movements can help identify vision impairments after concussions – UPMC

For up to 3 million Americans each year, what was supposed to be a fun day at the ski slopes, at a playground or on a football field quickly takes a turn for the worse. While simple steps – such as wearing a helmet – can prevent serious head injury resulting from a sudden high-impact fall or a blow to the head, those measures are less effective at preventing concussions.

In collaboration with the UPMC Concussion group, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Ophthalmology discovered that recording and analyzing patterns of fixational saccades – tiny involuntary eye movements that help maintain the gaze on a stationary object or location – can be used to develop fast, non-invasive and reliable tools to identify vision impairment following concussion, which sometimes goes undiagnosed. The report was published recently in the Journal of Vision.

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