What is a Concussion/Brain injury?
An acquired brain injury is any condition or event that results in a sudden, non-progressive, non-degenerative change in neurological processing. This includes concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebrovascular accidents (stroke), post-surgical neurological complications, and vestibular dysfunction.
A concussion is a result from a direct blow to the head directly or indirectly from something such as whiplash. The impact causes the brain to hit against the inside of the skull causing brain bruising and diffuse axonal injuries that are undetectable by normal MRI and CT scans. It is estimated that nearly four million concussions occur yearly in the United States.
Visual disorders interfering with the rehabilitative process often go undetected and misdiagnosed by standard eye exams that show normal eyesight and eye health.
What are the symptoms of a Concussion/Brain Injury?
Individuals suffering from head injuries often have vision disturbances that impact their quality of life. Symptoms include difficulty with reading, avoiding near tasks, diplopia, eye strain, photosensitivity, dry eye, impaired sense of depth perception, dizziness, nausea, motion sickness, difficulties navigating in busy areas, impaired visual field, increased sensitivity to visual motion, and bumping into objects.
If you/your child suffered from a concussion or brain injury, please fill out the Brain Injury Vision Symptom Survey (BIVSS) (in the FORMS tab) to help determine if a Visual Skills Evaluation is needed for you/your child. A score of 31 or higher warrants an evaluation from a developmental optometrist.
How are Concussions/Brain Injuries treated with Optometric Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy for concussions and brain injuries is called neuro-optometric rehabilitation. This kind of treatment helps treat the effects of brain injury and teaches the injured brain new ways to compensate for vision problems. We take a top-down processing approach that starts with higher level cognitive processes. In neuro-optometric rehabilitation, the brain must, attend to relevant information, ignore irrelevant information, and filter out sensory information. Neuro-optometric rehabilitations allows those affected by brain injury to reclaim some or most of their visual function. The goal of your neuro-optometric rehabilitation treatment program is to eliminate visual-related signs and symptoms, advance the outcome of other rehabilitative services, and improve quality of life.