Current Weblogs
There are no blogs in this Group.

Winter safety is important to us at Advanced Vision Therapy Center Boise Idaho


Well folks, Idaho has officially been taken over by “Snowpocalypse.” While this record amount of snow poses a lot of challenges (school cancellations, treacherous driving, shoveling, flooding, etc.) it can also be an exciting time for outdoor enthusiasts! Anytime there is precipitation coming down in town winter sports enthusiasts can be spotted with enormous grins. What does that grin mean? Powder day, the best day of the year!


Wear proper protective gear when participating in winter sports.


Many people live in Idaho for the abundance of outdoor activities, meaning the slopes will be busy. Outdoor sports pose a risk for injury, and awareness is important to help prevent injury. January is National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month to educate the public about increased risks associated with winter sports.  


According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) skiing and snowboarding injuries and deaths have decreased about fifty percent from the 1970's. While this is a positive statistic it is important to note it doesn't mean we can be complacent on the slopes. Safety is key! Traumatic brain injuries can be very debilitating, not only the person who is injured but their families. Head and neck injuries sustained while skiing or snowboarding are more likely to be lethal and are most commonly caused by a collision with a tree. Keep in mind other skiers/snowboarders pose a collision risk. Seventeen years ago the NSAA initiated a “Heads Up” campaign that downhill enthusiasts are very familiar with. Such as ski in control, before merging look up the hill and yield to skiers coming down the run, etc. This initiative was to help prevent injuries on the hill. In 2012 the NSAA developed the “Lids on Kids” campaign to promote helmet wear while on the mountain. While there is an initiative to promote helmet wear in children, it is important to note that everyone should wear helmets, not just kids. Even the most experienced skiers can have an accident or collision and sustain head trauma.


Winter sports are not just limited to activities on the ski hill. They can include ice skating, hockey (go Steelheads!), sledding, luge (for those daring individuals), and snowshoeing (to name a few). Helmets are not going to be worn in all of these occasions so environmental awareness is important. Only participate in activities if the area is free of obstacles


Not all traumatic brain injuries sustained while participating in winter sports result in debilitating injuries; however, even a minor TBI (concussion) can interfere with daily activities. Many people are unaware that sustaining a TBI can interfere with how the eyes work together and visual quality. Common visual symptoms of a person who has sustained a TBI can be:

  • Double Vision (diplopia): double vision can be secondary to an acquired convergence insufficiency (see our blog: Convergence Insufficiency and Convergence Insufficiency Part 2) or an acquired strabismus (eye-turn).

  • Difficulty Reading: difficulty reading can be secondary to an acquired oculomotor dysfunction (see our blog: Eye Movement Disorder Following Brain Injury)as well as convergence insufficiency

  • Difficulty with Visual Surroundings: following a TBI people's visual environments may seem overwhelming or over stimulating or they may feel as though they are “in a fog.”

  • Blurred or Fluctuating Vision: blurred or fluctuating vision can be secondary to an acquired accommodative dysfunction (visual focusing system), dry eye, or generalized binocular vision dysfunction (see our blog: Binocular Vision Assessment)

  • Eye-strain/ Visual Fatigue: eye-strain and visual fatigue can also be secondary to accommodative dysfunction and binocular vision dysfunction.

  • Discomfort on the Computer: working on the computer can induce more fatigue secondary to the increased accommodative demand and can be visually over-stimulating.

  • Difficulty Concentrating: sustained focus (reading or computer work) can be more difficult secondary to the near demand.

  • Light Sensitivity: the exact cause of light sensitivity is unknown in association with a TBI but can occur indoors and outdoors.

  • Dry Eye: dry eye is a common side effect of a TBI because the individual has a decreased blink rate. Depending on the severity of the dryness it can cause other problems on the ocular surface such as corneal damage and increased risk of eye infections.

  • Slow Visual Processing Speed: slow processing speed is secondary to damage to the brain.


When a person sustains a TBI it is important to establish an appropriate care team to assist with rehabilitation. This team may need to include a neurologist, neuro-optometrist, physical therapist, speech therapist, and an occupational therapist. It is important to have a Neuro-Optometrist on the care team. A residency trained Neuro-Optometrist will assess and treat associated vision conditions. Treating associated vision conditions can help to improve participation and results of associated rehabilitation treatments with therapists.


This winter while enjoying “Snowpocalypse” be safe, check the surroundings, and wear a helmet. If a head injury is sustained, be sure to include a residency-trained Neuro-Optometrist a member of your team.  


We can assess and treat all forms of TBI at Advanced Vision Therapy Center Boise Idaho

Posted by Advanced Vision Therapy Center at 1/30/2017 6:57:00 PM
Share |
Comments (0)
No comments yet, login to post a comment.
Improvement Starts Here

With over 25 years of proven success, you can trust Advanced Vision Therapy Center to provide the care you need.

Our Clinical Director is Idaho's only residency trained optometrist in vision therapy and neuro-optometry and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.  His residency at University of California, Berkeley means he has the expertise and experience to treat even the most complex cases.

Read what our patients have to say.

  Vision therapy can be a bit unfamiliar to some people. We are going to begin this blog by discussing briefly when vision therapy is used. Many visual conditions can be effectively treated and managed with prescription glasses or contact lenses. However, for other visual conditions (convergence insufficiency, binocular vision dysfunction, etc) prescription glasses or contact lenses cannot correct the vision problem. It is in these cases that vision therapy may be prescribed.   ... Read More
  Many people are unaware of the differences between an optometrist, a neuro-optometrist, and a behavioral or developmental optometrist. Sure, they sound alike but the services they provide are quite different. And if you, or someone you know, has a vision problem that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses this blog is for you.   ... Read More
  At Advanced Vision Therapy Center our results speak for themselves. Jonah, however, wanted to share his story with you. We invite you to watch this short video to learn more about Jonah's experience and success.   ... Read More
  It's a dangerous world we live in today! With October upon us, people are thinking about spooky, creepy crawly things, and of course things that go bump in the night. Most ghoul hunters know that to protect themselves from the evil lurking in the shadows this time of year, they need the necessities such as garlic, silver bullets, a know, for protection.     ... Read More
  Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a term used within the medical community to describe an injury to the brain which is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative. Traumatic Brain Injury can be result from a blow to the head, whiplash, seizure disorders, tumors, stroke, toxic exposure, or infectious diseases to name a few. The incidence of prevalence of brain injury outnumbers breast cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDs combined.   ... Read More
  Many people have heard of vision therapy, but don't know a lot about it. As with any type of therapy, the effectiveness of the program is dependent upon several factors. It is advisable to ask questions and do your homework. Vision therapy programs vary greatly from provider to provider.   ... Read More
  Everyday in our schools students are presented with information that they are required to look at, interpret, and process that information. For years it was believed that the eyes had nothing to do with learning. That is definitely not the case. Did you know it is estimated that 80% of what we learn is through visual information?     ... Read More
  Convergence Insufficiency (CI) is a common eye-teaming problem which occurs when the eyes are unable to maintain the ocular posture necessary for reading or near tasks. Convergence Insufficiency results from misalignment of the eyes when focusing on up close, such as when reading. The eyes have a strong tendency to drift outward when reading or doing close up work. The exact cause is unknown.    ... Read More
  After this abnormally tedious Boise winter, we are all ready to get outside and play in the sun! Hold on though, before you rush outside, have you taken the necessary precautions to protect yourself for ultraviolet rays? There are three types of ultraviolet rays, these wavelengths are not visible to the human eye and are shorter than violet wavelengths of light.    ... Read More
  Whether you are playing sports as a hobby or competitively there is a lot to consider. Are you using proper form? Is your equipment up to date? Are you warmed up? Are you wearing the appropriate safety gear? Is your opponent looking bigger and stronger than last time? Seriously, did he grow six inches? Whatever your thought process or preparation is you may be missing a key step. Are you wearing your protective eye-wear?   ... Read More
Contact Us

7960 W. Rifleman Street, #155
Boise , Idaho , 83704 USA
Phone:  208-377-1310
Fax:  208-321-1952