Vision Therapy For Brain Injury: Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitative Therapy Serving Atlanta
Contrary to what you might think, it is the brain, and not the eyes, that is the key to seeing well. Your vision is really the sum total of how your brain receives visual information and then interprets and processes that information to permit you to see. The accuracy of that process depends on a healthy brain correctly going about this processing.
There are innumerable potential causes of brain injuries that can result in vision problems.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Mild Acquired Brain Injury
- Post-Concussion Syndrome also called Post-concussive Syndrome (PCS)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome
- Hemianopsia or Hemianopia
- Mild Closed Head Injury
- Cervical Trauma Syndrome
A brain injury or the resulting condition such as the ones listed above can result in serious vision problems, which can have a devastating effect on one's ability to complete basic day-to-day tasks. The damage can also be cumulative over time. Multiple concussions, even minor ones, can result in serious long-term complications. Our vision therapy practice in Buckhead, Georgia specializes in Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation ― a specific Vision Therapy program for those who have suffered a brain injury. Using a series of custom and personalized exercises, the brain can be retrained to accurately receive, process, and interpret visual signals again. Research has shown that recovery from vision problems is essential to recovery from any brain injury.
Our vision therapy doctors specialize in neuro-optometric therapy and developmental optometry. We have special training and clinical experience in this area and are able to help those who have vision problems related to brain injury. Neuro-Optometrists understand how specific visual dysfunctions relate to the patient's symptoms and performance. A brain injury or the resulting condition such as the ones listed above can result in serious vision problems, which can have a devastating effect on one's ability to complete basic day-to-day tasks.
The damage can also be cumulative over time. Multiple concussions, even minor ones, can result in serious long-term complications. Our vision therapy practice serving the greater Atlanta area specializes in Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation ― a specific Vision Therapy program for those who have suffered a brain injury. Using a series of custom and personalized exercises, the brain can be retrained to accurately receive, process, and interpret visual signals again. Research has shown that recovery from vision problems is essential to recovery from any brain injury.
The vision problems highlighted above can be broken down into three main areas of vision problems. Your Developmental Optometrist utilizing Vision Therapy techniques can help with each of these Vision Loss problems:
The evaluation of the patient with brain injury may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Comprehensive eye and vision examination
- Extended sensorimotor evaluation
- Higher cerebral function assessment of visual information processing
- Low vision evaluation
- Extended visual field evaluation
- Electrodiagnostic testing
How Do We Treat Patients With Vision Loss From A Brain Injury?
- Treatment of ocular disease or injury either directly or by co-management with other healthcare professionals.
- Treatment of the visual dysfunction with lenses, prisms, occlusion, and optometric Vision Therapy.
- Counseling and education of patient, family, or caregiver about the patient's visual problems, functional implications, goals, prognosis, and management options.
- Consultation with other professionals involved in the rehabilitation and health care of the patient.
Visual Field Loss
Visual Field Loss
Visual field loss refers to a condition where the patient loses vision in a portion of their field of vision. This can quite literally mean that the patient is blind or impaired in half of the field of vision. This can be dangerous as it often results in walking into objects, falling, and being hit by approaching objects and people.
Treating Visual Field Loss
With Vision Therapy, the patient will undergo visual rehabilitation exercises which teach the brain to relearn how to effectively scan and focus on the impacted fields of vision where the vision loss occurs. This can be a long process, requiring patience and force of will. However, with time and temerity, Vision Therapy is highly effective at correcting and regaining a lost field of vision.
Prism Lenses For Visual (Peripheral) Field Loss
Special visual field awareness prism lenses are used in treating peripheral field loss. As the patient scans into the prism, the optics are shifted so as to perceptually gain about 15 to 20 degrees of visual field recognition. Looking into these prisms, however, results in double-vision (diplopia), so active scanning is done in brief spurts. The lenses are used to sense if there is something in the peripheral vision that needs to be paid attention to. Once spotted, the patient turns their head to view it in detail with their intact central vision.
Double Vision & Brain Injury
Double Vision (Diplopia) And Brain Injury
Diplopia, or, “double-vision” is a very common result of a brain injury. Prisms, special lenses, and Vision Therapy can be used to help the patient achieve fusion (alignment of the eyes) and alleviate the diplopia. If and when these means are not employed, the patient may be able to adapt by suppressing the vision of one eye to eliminate the diplopia. If lenses, prisms, and/or a course of Vision Therapy are not successfully undertaken and applied, the result is often what’s called intractable diplopia.
In this population of patients, patching has frequently been used to eliminate the diplopia. Although patching is effective in eliminating diplopia it causes the patient to become monocular. Monocular vision, as opposed to binocular vision, will affect the individual primarily in two ways; absence of stereopsis and reduction of the peripheral field of vision. These limitations will directly cause problems in eye-hand coordination, depth judgments, orientation, balance, mobility, and activities of daily living such as playing sports, driving, climbing stairs, crossing the street, threading a needle etc.
Vision Therapy, combined with the appropriate lenses and prism use, is the most effective means of treating the diplopia while retaining and improving the visual functions necessary for daily life.
Visual Balance Disorders
Visual Balance Disorders
Visual balance disorders are conditions where the patient feels dizzy or unsteady. Often, it feels as if the sufferer or the world is spinning or moving even while lying down. Visual balance disorders can be caused by viruses, ear infections, and problems with visual processing. It’s also a frequent problem with patients who have suffered a brain injury. Lenses, prisms, and visual rehabilitation activities through Vision Therapy are highly effective at treating visual balance conditions.