Traumatic brain injuries can be devastating, and the effects can be long-lasting. The most common sort of traumatic brain injury is a concussion, usually caused by a blow to the head.
Besides causing physical injuries such as bruising or lacerations, concussions can also lead to neurological damage that can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
To handle these conditions, doctors need to be able to assess the severity of the damage accurately. One way they do this is by measuring the size of a patient’s pupils before and after head trauma.
We will discuss the importance of pupil size in assessing head trauma and provide an overview of how doctors use this information to diagnose traumatic brain injuries.
The Pupil Diameter Measurement
Most medical professionals do not understand the importance of pupil diameter measurements. However, doctors use this information as part of a neurological assessment to determine whether a patient has suffered brain trauma.
The most common way they do this is by shining a light into their patients’ eyes and counting how much light reflects off the retina’s surface.
But recent research has shown that this method is not a good indicator of the severity of a brain injury. To get an accurate reading from this test, doctors need to measure the diameter of both pupils simultaneously—and that’s not what they typically do.
But if they measured both pupils, it would give them much more information about whether their patient has suffered any damage to their brain tissue.
Why Is Accuracy in Pupil Measurement Important?
In the medical field, pupil dilation is a common test used to determine whether a patient has suffered brain damage. In fact, many doctors rely on this measurement method as an accurate way to diagnose traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
But there’s a problem with this measurement method: it’s not very accurate. The issue is that doctors are currently only able to measure one pupil at a time—and even then, they can only take an average reading from both eyes.
Because of this, their results are often unreliable.
A look into the pupilometer as the best tool for pupil diameter measurement
The pupilometer is a handheld device that simultaneously measures the diameter of both eyes. It has a built-in light source that projects onto the patient’s retina, allowing the device to calculate the exact size of each pupil in millimetres.
Because it’s so accurate, this measurement method is much more reliable than using an ophthalmoscope or flashlight to gauge pupil dilation. Besides that, the pupilometer can also measure the amount of light entering each eye.
This is especially useful for people with problems with their vision, as it’s a good indicator of how well they can see in different environments (like dimly lit rooms or outside on a sunny day).
The device is easy to use and portable, so doctors can bring it when they need to measure pupils on-site at work.
Relationship between pupil measurement and traumatic brain injuries
Since most people with traumatic brain injuries cannot describe their symptoms, it’s often difficult to know if someone has suffered a concussion or brain injury until they have an exam.
This is where pupil diameter measurement plays a crucial role. The pupil diameter can be used to determine the severity of a brain injury and whether it has caused any permanent damage to the victim’s vision.
If a person with a head injury experiences problems with their vision, it is likely they have suffered some sort of damage to their central nervous system (CNS).
Measuring the diameter of the pupils with a pupilometer will help doctors determine whether or not a patient is suffering from a concussion or other brain injury.
If the pupils of someone suffering from a head injury are larger than normal and stay that way, it can indicate damage to the central nervous system.
Impact of the Neurological Pupil Index and Constriction Velocity in TBI Treatment
When doctors measure the pupil size and constriction velocity of patients who have suffered a brain injury, they can determine the extent of their injuries.
The Neurological Pupil Index (NPI) is a particularly important tool that doctors use to assess head trauma victims, as it provides information about the severity of any damage to the central nervous system.
The NPi is a measure of the size of the pupils in millimetres, and it is calculated by splitting the difference between the maximum and minimum diameter by two.
The constriction velocity is another important indicator of brain injury severity, as it provides information about how fast or slow your pupils react to light.
Doctors have found that patients who experience a rapid constriction after exposure to bright light are more likely to suffer from brain injury than those who experience a slower response rate.
Doctors need to measure pupil size accurately.
Pupil diameter measurement using the pupilometer is a quick and easy way to determine the level of brain damage in patients who have suffered from eye injuries.
The procedure is performed by placing the pupilometer over the patient’s eye, secured by a special strap that holds it in place.