Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation

Vision Therapy is Highly Effective in Treating Brain Injuries

Vision-Care-And-Therapy-Center---Concussion-250x200With all the emphasis on brain injury, including concussion in NFL football players, there is one aspect of a traumatic brain injury that is often overlooked. Visual problems can result from an injury to the brain. These problems are too often missed during initial treatment of the injury. This oversight can result in increased rehabilitation time, and can even impair the rehabilitative process.

The vision process consists of a complex of subsystems involving the flow of information to the brain and the processing of that information by the brain. An injury can disrupt the visual process, thus disrupting the flow of and the assimilation of information. The result is a vision problem.

Some of the symptoms associated with a brain injury that may indicate a vision problem:

- blurry or out of focus vision, or double vision
- a sensitivity to light that was not there previously
- problems reading, such as the words appearing to move about the page
- difficulty comprehending what you’re reading
- difficulty paying attention or concentrating
- trouble remembering
- aching feeling in one or both eyes
- a decrease in your visual field, such as a loss of peripheral vision

Vision-Care-And-Therapy-Center---Brain-MRI-300x200When our visual system is not functioning properly, more energy is required to do even the easiest of tasks, making normal functions seem more difficult.

Some of the visual skills that can be affected by a traumatic brain injury include:

- Tracking: our eye(s) may not move smoothly across a printed page or when trying to follow a moving object
- Fixation: maintaining eye contact
- Focus change: quickly switching our visual focus from far to near, and back without blurring
- Depth perception: judging how far or near objects are
- Peripheral vision: observing and interpreting visual input from the surrounding field of vision
- Binocularity: both eyes working together as a team
- Visualization: picturing images in our “mind’s eye”
- Visual perception: understanding what we’re seeing

What is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?

Vision-Care-And-Therapy-Center---Brain-250x200Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is defined as an individualized treatment program for children or adults struggling with visual difficulties as a result of a physical disability, traumatic brain injury or other events that result in damage to the neurological system:

- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Cerebrovascular Accident
- Autism
- Cerebral Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It is a blending of vision and rehabilitation. This form of treatment is a process designed to help children and adults resolve visual problems that are a result of a functional disorder and/or disorders that affect their visual-perceptual and eye motion skills.

What conditions can Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation treat?

Individuals, regardless of age, who have suffered an event or disease that damaged their neurological systems can benefit from this type of vision eye therapy. Some of the conditions that may be helped are:

- cognitive deficits
- visual-spatial dysfunction
- binocular dysfunction
- accommodation or convergence difficulties
- oculomotor dysfunction
- visual perceptual deficits
- acquired strabismus
- double vision
- visual difficulties caused by stroke
- visual disturbances associated with cerebral palsy
- visual problems often seen in conjunction with multiple sclerosis

All of the vision problems listed above can take their toll on an individual’s learning ability or ability to perform at work. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation can improve or alleviate these difficulties through a course of individualized treatment. It can also help with conditions that may be made worse by visual disturbances. Problems with balance and episodes of vertigo can be diminished or alleviated with a prescribed plan of Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation therapy.

Vision-Care-And-Therapy-Center---Car-Accident-250x200When is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Prescribed?

After a brain injury occurs, whether it is from outside trauma such as a car accident or there is damage from a medical event such as a stroke, the individual is often left with a communication problem between what the eyes see and how the brain interprets that information. If there is a disruption in the smooth flow of information between your brain and your eyes because of an injury or disease, vision difficulties are a common occurrence.

If you’ve suffered an injury, illness or trauma, you may benefit from the services of Dr. Iyer, a Neuro-Optometrist, if you are experiencing any of the following:

- any degree of loss of vision
- lack of coordination, increased clumsiness or dizziness
- frequent headaches, especially after doing close work or computer work
- sensitivity to light or difficulty determining contrast
- a shortened attention span or loss of concentration
- problems walking or maintaining balance, such as bumping into objects
- difficulty judging depth perception
- discomfort in the eyes, head or neck when reading

Vision-Care-And-Therapy-Center---Brain-Injury-250x200Most people who develop a neurological problem begin looking for help by visiting their primary care physician. They may mention their neurological symptoms to the doctor, who may refer the individual to a Neuro-Optometrist. They will probably suggest getting a routine eye examination. If there are also balance issues involved, a physical therapy or occupational therapy referral may be suggested. All of these measures may afford some degree of relief, at least on a temporary basis.

Vision_Care_And_Therapy_Center_Dr_Janna_Iyer

What Type of Treatment does Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Provide?

Dr. Iyer, a Neuro-Optometrist, will develop an individualized treatment plan based on your specific symptoms and difficulties. The goal of your treatment plan will be the improvement or elimination of the specific visual deficits that are identified in the initial vision and neurological examination. Treatment can include the use of specialized lenses and prisms. Dr. Iyer may develop a specific regimen of exercises and treatments using prescribed occlusion and optometric visual aids and devices. You may have ‘homework’ assigned to be done at home. This usually requires interaction with a special computer program.

People who have suffered a neurologic injury or disease affecting the nervous system often develop problems in processing visual information. These problems can be quite problematic, even debilitating. The effects of these difficulties, such as experiencing visual stimulation overload in a grocery store or triggering an episode of vertigo, can be quite disturbing. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is designed to manage, improve and possibly eliminate these problems.

A referral is not required. You may contact our office at 678-256-3990 or online to schedule an appointment.

Note from Haley: 

Haley had a massive stroke five days after giving birth to her second child. After the stroke, the doctor gave Haley a 1% chance to live. Her right side and vision were severely affected by the stroke, making Haley learn how to perform daily tasks again. She was totally helpless. Haley spent three months in the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, fighting an everyday battle, called life. The constant therapy and great God allowed her to make huge improvements with all areas of her life. When Haley was dismissed from the hospital, she started daily therapy at Shepherd Pathways, an outpatient rehabilitation centre. The doctor that Haley saw at Shepherd Pathways recommended that she set an appointment with Dr Iyer, at this point in time it had been four years since her stroke. Haley had many goals set out for herself that she wanted to accomplish, driving is one of them. Dr Iyer told Haley that if she was willing to do vision therapy every day she felt she was sure that her vision would improve. From that day forward, Haley accepted the challenge and worked on vision therapy every day for six weeks. Dr Iyer and her staff encouraged her every step of the way. As of January 24, 2019, Haley has been driving for 2 ½ years and continues to see improvement with her vision.

Dr Iyer and her staff do an amazing job. It is evident that they have a heart for their patients. We are extremely thankful God led Haley to her. Truthfully, there are no words to describe our feelings. To God be the Glory.

Haley

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