Traumatic Brain Injury or Acquired Brain Injury is an insult to the brain, such as a blow to the head, stroke, or neurological dysfunction. The insult can produce cognitive, sensory or physical impairments; most are amenable to rehabilitation. The following is a list of symptoms of visual problems which can result from brain injuries:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light, glare sensitivity
- Reading difficulties; words appear to move
- Comprehension difficulty
- Attention and concentration difficulty
- Memory difficulty
- Double vision
- Aching eyes
- Headaches with visual tasks
- Inability to maintain visual contact
- Reduction or loss of visual field
- Difficulties with eye movements:
- Visual field loss
Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is an individualized treatment regimen for patients with visual deficits as a direct result of physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, concussion and other neurological insults. Neuro-optometric rehabilitative therapy is a process for the rehabilitation of visual, perceptual, and motor disorders.
Patients of all ages who have experienced neurological insults may require neuro-optometric rehabilitation. Visual problems caused by traumatic brain injury, concussion, cerebrovascular accident, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, etc., may interfere with performance.
A neuro-optometric rehabilitation treatment plan is designed to improve specific acquired vision dysfunctions determined by standardized diagnostic criteria. Treatment regimens encompass medically necessary lenses and prisms and other appropriate medical rehabilitation strategies.
Types of Problems Frequently Treated:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Other Neurological Condition
What is a Neuro-Optometric Assessment?
During your Neuro-Optometric assessment, Dr. Strenger will evaluate every aspect of your vision that can be affected by a Traumatic Brain Injury.
- Visual acuity (Clarity of vision): There are several causes of decreased vision following a Traumatic Brain Injury. It is important to determine the cause of the decreased vision as it will allow the doctor to discuss prognosis and potential for improvement.
- Refractive error (Prescription): Sometimes the decrease in vision is due to the need for an updated prescription. When designing a prescription following a neurological event, our doctor will be able to address both the clarity of your vision.
- Visual field loss: The area of the brain that has been affected as well as the extent of the damage will determine the pattern of your visual field loss. Depending on where the damage has occurred, you may experience difficulties to the left, right, both sides, the upper, or the lower portion of your visual field.
- Photophobia (Light sensitivity): Individuals who have experienced acquired brain injury often complain of light sensitivity, even when indoors. Choosing the proper tinted lens is one of the first steps towards finding relief.
- Diplopia (Double vision): Double vision can indicate an undiagnosed neurological condition or may result from a known neurological event. In either case, the cause of the double vision needs to be identified. After identifying the cause of the double vision, our doctors will be able to discuss which of the multiple treatment options are best for you.
- Dry eye: Dry eye following a neurological event can result in several symptoms, which include: reduced vision, fluctuating vision, eye irritation, gritty or sandy feeling, burning, or watering eyes.
- Accommodative dysfunction (Eye focusing): Accommodative dysfunction will result in blurry vision, primary when performing tasks at near.
- Convergence Issues (Inability to comfortably use eyes at near): Convergence dysfunction can result in double vision during near activities, headaches, eyestrain, fatigue, and dizziness.
- Eye movement disorders: There are several eye movement disorders associated with acquired brain injury.
- Reading difficulties: There are several causes of reading difficulties following an acquired brain injury. Some of these challenges are visual in nature, others visual-perceptual, and others are language based. If your goal is to begin reading again, it is important to address the visual causes of your struggles. Many of the visual causes of reading difficulties following acquired brain injury can be successfully treated with specific glasses or vision therapy.
- Visual perceptual deficits: Neurological events not only affect the eyes, but also the connection between the eyes and the brain as well as the areas of the brain responsible for producing and interpreting vision. When these areas of the brain are damaged, it will alter the way in which you perceive your visual world. Fortunately, recent research in the area of neuroplasticity has shown that new connections can be formed within the brain to regain abilities that were once thought to be lost permanently.
Contact us at (973) 984-7575 to schedule a exam with Dr. Ira Strenger.