We provide treatment for vision problems that can occur as a result of a Concussion.
Probably one of the most important facts to know when it comes to accidents and bumps to the head, is that you do not have to be knocked unconscious in order to have a concussion. In fact, whiplash can cause a concussion without hitting one’s head.
Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation is a sub-specialty of Optometry that focuses on the variety of visual disorders that occur as a result of a concussion or multiple concussions, brain injuries, developmental delays or other neurological disorders.
Many people don’t realize that our eyes are part of the brain. When someone suffers any type of injury to the brain, whether it is due to a stroke, car accident or any blow to the head, their vision will be adversely affected. For example, common vision symptoms after concussion include trouble concentrating when trying to read, double vision, difficulty shifting from looking at things up close (such as reading distance), and then shifting to look at things in the distance and vice versa.
There are other symptoms which most people don’t associate with vision, but can definitely be caused by vision disorders some of which include: difficulty being in crowded places such as stores and malls, problems with balance and movement, clumsiness, short attention span, as well as light sensitivity.
A Neuro-Optometric Evaluation involves in-depth testing which evaluates how well your vision functions and to what degree it is interfering with the overall performance of activities of daily living such as reading, balance and movement, tying shoes, pouring liquids, etc.
The Neuro-Optometric Evaluation is unique. In addition to testing visual acuity, whether or not glasses are needed and looking at the health of your eyes, the evaluation is focused on testing your binocular visual skills as well as identifying how vision is impacting overall function. It also is designed to evaluate how vision is interacting with the other senses, including vestibular and motor skills.
Vision Problems Often Caused by Head Injuries
Vision problems that occur after a head injury can range from being very subtle to dramatic. The more subtle vision disorders can often be the most irritating because they require very specialized testing to detect, so most eye doctors will not find a problem and the patient often feels as though no one believes them.
Double vision is a common occurrence after stroke or head injury and can often be more severe for those who have suffered multiple concussions. It is vital to the rehabilitation process that double vision is treated as soon as possible; otherwise the overall rehabilitation will be significantly delayed. Double vision can cause problems with:
- Reading and/or handwriting
- Anxiety with visual tasks
- Impaired depth perception
- Balance and movement difficulties like drifting when walking, stumbling or falling
- Driving difficulties with lane positioning, proper speed maintenance, multitasking, navigation
People who suffer from concussion or other Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI), Neuro-Developmental or Neuro-Degenerative Disorders commonly have various Functional Vision Problems leading to decreased performance of Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). Sometimes when one suffers a head injury their sense of where the middle of their body is can change. This can cause:
- Dizziness or nausea
- Spatial disorientation
- Consistently stays to one side of hallway or room
- Bumps into objects when walking
- Poor walking or posture, for example, leans back on heels, forward, or to one side when walking, standing or seated in a chair
- Perception of the floor being tilted
- Associated neuromotor difficulties with balance, coordination and posture
Vision problems associated with brain injuries can be disabling and increase dependency as well as risk of secondary injury unless treated.
Treatment can involve special therapeutic glasses or may involve a more in-depth program. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitative Therapy is a non-invasive process for the rehabilitation of visual, perceptual, and motor disorders. Individualized programs working one on one with a vision therapist, one can learn how to regain control of your vision.
If you or a loved one has had a head injury, please give our office a call 703-657-3245.
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