Traumatic Brain Injury Conditions Treated by Vision Therapy
April 22, 2022
When the brain is injured, the important flow of information can be disrupted, resulting in vision issues even when the eyes themselves are not damaged.
What vision problems caused by TBIs can be treated with vision therapy?
Accommodation deficits - The issues that can be treated by vision therapy include accommodation and focusing deficits, difficulty with eye teaming, so a condition such as convergence insufficiency which can cause headaches and double vision when a person is trying to read close-up.
Ocular motor deficits - Additionally, vision therapy can help with ocular motor deficits in which a person may have difficulty tracking their eyes so they may lose their place when reading on paper or on a computer, which can make workplace performance very difficult.
Visual field loss - Vision therapy can also be helpful to individuals with visual field loss, so for example a person has hemianopsia and loses vision on the right or left side of their body, so they need assistance to reopen their visual field.
Visual spatial inattention - It can also be helpful for conditions like visual spatial inattention, in which the brain does not pay attention to the right or the left visual space as it should.
Visual midline shifts - Vision therapy can help treat visual midline shift syndrome. Visual midline shifts occur when an individual thinks they are in one place in space but actually are located somewhere else in the space. This causes individuals to shift to the right or to the left while walking or to shift their posture noticeably after the traumatic brain injury.
Peripheral motion sensitivity - Following a traumatic brain injury one of the common symptoms is the feeling that too much motion in the peripheral vision is overwhelming or causes a loss of balance or vertigo. This condition is also sometimes referred to as visual vertigo or visual motion sensitivity. One aspect of peripheral motion sensitivity is related to optic flow, whereby the the moving stream of visual motion on either side of our peripheral awareness streams by us. Normally the two sides of our peripheral motion cancel each other out, however after a TBI the processing of this visual information may become asymmetrical and result in a feeling of vertigo.
What is neuro-optometric rehabilitation?
A neuro-optometric rehabilitation program strengthens the patient's visual skills so that they can perform their regular daily activities and achieve a higher quality of life. This form of rehabilitation is aimed at helping patients who suffer from vision problems resulting from a traumatic brain injury (such as a car accident or stroke).
Neuro-optometrists are trained to diagnose and treat vision problems caused by traumatic brain injury and neurological conditions.
Neuro Optometric Rehabilition is prescribed by a neuro optometrists and may include treatment such as the use of special prism lenses, vision therapy, and syntonics. Syntonics and prisms are usually done in conjunction with an in-office vision therapy regimen.
Schedule a Neuro Optometric Consultation
Dr. Heather McBryar is a fellow of the college of optometrists in vision development and has extensive experience improving the lives and vision of those who have visual disturbance following a traumatic brain injury. Call our office at (423) 710 3965 to schedule an appointment today.