WASHINGTON — Sen. Harry Reid suffered vision impairment from the accident that has grounded him from work in the U.S. Capitol, according to a published report.
Reid, the Senate minority leader, “has temporarily lost sight in one eye” and was advised by doctors to rest to increase chances of regaining it, Bloomberg News reported, attributing the information to an aide in the U.S. Senate leadership who asked to remain anonymous.
Reid’s office declined to confirm or deny the report on Wednesday, with a spokeswoman saying there was no further comment on the incident.
The Nevada Democrat remained at his home in Washington as the Senate’s 2015 session got underway. Spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said he was working from home.
“He’s listening to his doctors and taking it day by day,” Orthman said.
The report on Reid’s vision is the latest piece of medical information to be revealed stemming from a freak New Year’s Day accident at Reid’s home in Henderson. An elastic resistance band Reid was using in an exercise workout broke and snapped back in his face, causing him to fall, his office said.
Reid, 75, was hospitalized overnight at University Medical Center and released the next day. Details of Reid’s injuries have come to light sporadically, revealing harm he suffered was more extensive than first announced.
Reid broke ribs and several bones in his face, according to initial reports. On Tuesday it was revealed he also suffered a concussion, although it was unclear whether the brain injury was diagnosed initially in Las Vegas or only after Reid traveled to Washington and saw another physician.
Dr. Charles Bernick, the associate medical director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, said air travel should not exacerbate a concussion. And while there are always immediate symptoms following concussion from blows to the head, some can occur later, such as headaches, dizziness and fatigue, he said.
Bernick also said he was not aware of any correlation between a victim’s age and the recovery time from concussion, in the absence of any other underlying neurological illness.
Reid, who generally guards information about his personal life and his family, has not made his doctors available to talk about the accident.
On Tuesday, Reid’s office released a photograph of him meeting with other Democratic leaders at home, and a video of him talking about the incident and explaining why it caused him to miss the opening day of the congressional session.
The video showed Reid with a bruise along his right jawline and a bandage over his right eye., with bruising visible around the eye.
“My doctors have told me I’d better take it easy,” Reid said in the video.
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who met with Reid at his home on Tuesday, said Reid’s face looked like it went through a car windshield.
Despite being banged up, Reid was “lucid, on his game” in the meeting, Durbin said.
Durbin said Reid was pulling on elastic straps when one broke “and tossed him like a slingshot against cabinets, built-in cabinets. He crashed into it with his face and the side of his body.”
Bloomberg News reported Reid’s head hit a countertop edge, attributing the information to the leadership aide who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
Though not present in the Capitol on Wednesday, Reid sparred from a distance with new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican has characterized the Senate as dysfunctional under Reid’s control, and pledged Wednesday to “restore the Senate.”
Durbin stood in for Reid during the morning time reserved for the Senate leaders to speak.
He read a statement from the Nevadan in which Reid defended the work of Democrats to foster economic recovery “in spite of almost no Republican cooperation.”
Reid in the statement said he would work with Republicans but “I have no intention of rolling over. I can’t. Not when the middle class is teetering on the verge of extinction.”
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC. Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Steve Moore contributed to this story.