Anyone who has experienced an acquired brain injury or neurological change (seizures, neuro-degenerative conditions, etc) should undergo a Neuro-Optometric Assessment. This provides a baseline for visual abilities and identifies vision conditions that can, at times, be subtle in appearance but profound in their impact on daily living.
Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation can help resolve several visually-related symptoms that result from an acquired brain injury. Vision rehabilitation should be considered for patients whom experience symptoms such as:
Blurred or Fluctuating Vision – Can affect how clearly you see in the distance, at near, or both
Double vision – Even if experienced occasionally
Visual Discomfort - Eye strain or fatigue, especially associated with visually-demanding tasks (such as reading, computer work or driving)
Headaches - Especially at the end of the day or following visual activities such as reading, computer work or driving
Poor Depth Perception – Can impact eye-hand coordination, give a poor sense of space, and make judging speed and distance difficult (such as required while driving)
Tracking or Scanning Difficulties - Often times reported as reading difficulties
Difficulties Processing Visual Information – People often describe feeling that they are 'in a fog' and have difficulties keeping up with the pace of life (can feel overwhelmed)
Balance Difficulties or Dizziness - Poor visual-vestibular abilities can affect a person's balance or lead to a sense of dizziness or feeling 'clumsy'
POST-CONCUSSION / TRAUMATIC BRIAN INJURY PATIENTS
The visual system is often impacted as the result of a concussion or traumatic brain injury. Sometimes, visual changes can be quite obvious – resulting in blurred vision or double vision. Other times, vision changes can be more subtle – resulting in headaches, discomfort or fatigue. The timeline for visual recovery is highly variable and, in some cases, may not occur without active intervention. Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation is a proactive treatment to manage vision recovery. Actively addressing vision deficits provides predictable and successful recovery.
A cerebrovascular accident (stroke) often affects vision and visual processing. A stroke can result in blurred vision, double vision and visual field loss (restricted side vision). Of equal importance, a stroke can also impact visual function – resulting in poor depth perception or spatial awareness, reading or tracking difficulties, headaches and eyestrain, and balance difficulties. Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation is fundamental to overall stroke recovery. Early visual recovery allows for improved vision, improved function in daily life, and makes overall rehabilitation more successful. Treating your vision conditions, which occurs under the direction of a Residency-Trained Neuro-Optometrist, is critical to many of your recovery goals.
PATIENTS WITH DEGENERATIVE CONDITIONS
Progressive, or degenerative, conditions can compromise visual performance and function. Certain conditions directly impact the visual system – causing irregular or restricted eye movements or dry eye. Other conditions indirectly impact visual performance – resulting in poor visual control, poor binocular vision and slowed visual processing speed. Patients with progressive conditions - such as Parkinson's Disease, mitochondrial disease, Lyme disease – often benefit from Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation to address visual changes that cannot be addressed with glasses or surgery. Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation serves to stabilize visual abilities and make the visual system more robust. This allows the patient to better-compensate for fluctuating or degrading visual performance that is vulnerable to fatigue or disease progression.
INDIVIDUALS IN SUPPORTIVE THERAPIES
(OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY, PHYSICAL THERAPY, SPEECH/LANGUAGE THERAPY)
Patients with an acquired brain injury often have a large team of professionals collaborating in their care. Many aspects of rehabilitation rely on a solid visual foundation. Visual-motor tasks (during occupational therapy), visual-vestibular tasks (during physical therapy) and visual-auditory tasks (during speech/language therapy) all require a competent visual system in order to maximize success. Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation re-establishes a stable visual foundation that can then be built on during overall recovery. Failure to address the visual component of the acquired brain injury can limit recovery and prolong the rehabilitative process. Including Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation as part of a multi-disciplinary care plan maximizes success.