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Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation in Miami, Fl

Double Vision? Blurred Vision? Sensitive to Light? Eyes Sore? Brain Injury is NO Picnic. Vision Therapy CAN Help

Contrary to what you might think, it is the brain, and not the eyes, that is the key to seeing well. Your vision is really the sum total of how your brain receives visual information and then interprets and processes that information to permit you to see. The accuracy of that process depends on a healthy brain correctly going about this processing.

Eyesight is the human brain’s most sophisticated sensory system. About 50 percent of brain injuries result in visual skill deficiencies. There are two types of brain injury: traumatic brain injury (TBI) such as concussions and acquired brain injury (ABI) such as cerebrovascular accident (e.g. stroke). Visual symptoms exhibited include blurry and/or double vision, eye fatigue, headaches, loss of visual field, visual perception (visual-spatial, figure-ground, etc.) difficulty and eye tracking difficulty.

Whether or not it’s the result of brain injury from trauma, or conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, or even MS―Many of these visual symptoms can be treated and alleviated with vision therapy.

Types Of Vision Problems Resulting From A Brain Injury

Our vision therapists specialize in neuro-optometric therapy and developmental optometry. We have special training and clinical experience in this area and are able to help those who have vision problems related to brain injury. Neuro-Optometrists understand how specific visual dysfunctions relate to the patient's symptoms and performance. A brain injury or the resulting condition such as the ones listed above can result in serious vision problems, which can have a devastating effect on one's ability to complete basic day-to-day tasks.

The damage can also be cumulative over time. Multiple concussions, even minor ones, can result in serious long-term complications. Our vision therapy practice in Miami, Florida specializes in Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation ― a specific Vision Therapy program for those who have suffered a brain injury. Using series of custom and personalized exercises, the brain can be retrained to accurately receive, process, and interpret visual signals again. Research has shown that recovery from vision problems is essential to recovery from any brain injury.

Brain Injuries Can Result In A Range Of Vision Problems

 This includes:

      • Diplopia (double-vision)
      • Tracking issues
      • Maintaining physical eye focus
      • Difficulty staying mentally focused
      • Strabismus  (eye turns)
      • Binocular Vision Dysfunctions  (the ability to coordinate the two eyes to work together)
      • Abnormal posture
      • Head tilts or turns
      • Bumping into objects
      • Closing or covering one eye
      • Balance and coordination problems
      • Reduced ability to sustain attention on visual tasks
      • Poor depth perception
      • Confusion related to visual tasks
      • Reduced ability to accurately
      • Difficulty reading localize objects
      • Reduced visual acuity at far  (perceptual accuracy at a distance)
      • Reduced visual acuity at near  (perceptual accuracy up close for reading and other tasks)
      • Accommodative Disorders  (problems with focusing the eyes)
      • Difficulties in visual perception  (are objects where I think they are?)
      • Visual Field loss  (loss of vision in one or more areas)
      • Deficits in visual motor  (eye movement problems)
      • Ocular Motility Disorders Integration  (problems coordinating our eyes with our bodies )
      • Problems with accurate visual information processing

Problems such as these can drastically affect day to day functioning even at the most basic levels. It’s only once such vision problems are addressed that the victim of a brain injury can get the most out of other treatments such as physical, occupational, and cognitive therapies.

Problems such as these can drastically affect day to day functioning even at the most basic levels. It’s only once such vision problems are addressed that the victim of a brain injury can get the most out of other treatments such as physical, occupational, and cognitive therapies.

Neuro-Optometric Evaluation For Brain Injury In Miami, Florida

The evaluation of the patient with brain injury may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Comprehensive eye and vision examination
  • Extended sensorimotor evaluation
  • Higher cerebral function assessment of visual information processing
  • Low vision evaluation
  • Extended visual field evaluation
  • Electrodiagnostic testing

Three Main Types Of Vision Loss From Brain Injuries

Visual Field Loss

Visual Field Loss

Visual Field Loss

Visual Field Loss

Visual field loss refers to a condition where the patient loses vision in a portion of their field of vision. This can quite literally mean that the patient is blind or impaired in half of the field of vision. This can be dangerous as it often results in walking into objects, falling, and being hit by approaching objects and people.

Treating Visual Field Loss

With Vision Therapy, the patient will undergo visual rehabilitation exercises which teach the brain to relearn how to effectively scan and focus on the impacted fields of vision where the vision loss occurs. This can be a long process, requiring patience and force of will. However, with time and temerity, Vision Therapy is highly effective at correcting and regaining a lost field of vision.

Prism Lenses For Visual (Peripheral) Field Loss

Special visual field awareness prism lenses are used in treating peripheral field loss. As the patient scans into the prism, the optics are shifted so as to perceptually gain about 15 to 20 degrees of visual field recognition. Looking into these prisms, however, results in double-vision (diplopia), so active scanning is done in brief spurts. The lenses are used to sense if there is something in the peripheral vision that needs to be paid attention to. Once spotted, the patient turns their head to view it in detail with their intact central vision.

Double Vision & Brain Injury

Double Vision & Brain Injury

Double Vision (Diplopia) & Brain Injury

Double Vision (Diplopia) And Brain Injury

Diplopia, or, “double-vision” is a very common result of a brain injury. Prisms, special lenses, and Vision Therapy can be used to help the patient achieve fusion (alignment of the eyes) and alleviate the diplopia. If and when these means are not employed, the patient may be able to adapt by suppressing the vision of one eye to eliminate the diplopia. If lenses, prisms, and/or a course of Vision Therapy are not successfully undertaken and applied, the result is often what’s called intractable diplopia.

In this population of patients, patching has frequently been used to eliminate the diplopia. Although patching is effective in eliminating diplopia it causes the patient to become monocular. Monocular vision, as opposed to binocular vision, will affect the individual primarily in two ways; absence of stereopsis and reduction of the peripheral field of vision. These limitations will directly cause problems in eye-hand coordination, depth judgments, orientation, balance, mobility, and activities of daily living such as playing sports, driving, climbing stairs, crossing the street, threading a needle etc.

Vision Therapy, combined with the appropriate lenses and prism use, is the most effective means of treating the diplopia while retaining and improving the visual functions necessary for daily life.

Visual Balance Disorders

Visual Balance Disorders

Visual Balance Disorders

Visual Balance Disorders

Visual balance disorders are conditions where the patient feels dizzy or unsteady. Often, it feels as if the sufferer or the world is spinning or moving even while lying down. Visual balance disorders can be caused by viruses, ear infections, and problems with visual processing. It’s also a frequent problem with patients who have suffered a brain injury. Lenses, prisms, and visual rehabilitation activities through Vision Therapy are highly effective at treating visual balance conditions.

The vision problems highlighted above can be broken down into three main areas of vision problems.

Patients who acquire double vision (diplopia) after brain injuries can have a paralysis of a nerve controlling the eye muscle, gaze restrictions from the mechanical stress of trauma or decreased eye teaming ability. Often prisms, lenses and/or vision therapy/rehabilitation can be used to improve a patient’s eye teaming ability by improving their compensating vergences (ability to turn eyes in or out). Worst case scenarios where patients cannot improve their eye teaming ability, occlusion is used to suppress one of the images.

In visual field defects, patients are blind in certain field of views. Often, they can use prisms to shift the image in the affected field of view to scan the target. In vision therapy or rehabilitation, the patient can be taught how to scan that image and then shift their central vision to view it in more detail.

Brain injury patients can also have a visual balance disorder. An example of such is Visual Midline Shift Syndrome (VMSS). This can cause brain injury patients to have difficulty with eye tracking skills (oculomotor dysfunction). Difficulty controlling their eye fixation, pursuits (smooth eye movements) and/or saccades (jump eye movements) are often present. Lenses, prisms and vision therapy/rehabilitation can be used to alleviate symptoms.

Your Developmental Optometrist utilizing Vision Therapy techniques can help with each of these Vision Loss problems:

Optometric Management Of The Patient With Brain Injury May Include The Following:

  • Treatment of ocular disease or injury either directly or by co-management with other healthcare professionals.
  • Treatment of the visual dysfunction with lenses, prisms, occlusion, and optometric Vision Therapy.
  • Counselling and education of patient, family, or caregiver about the patient's visual problems, functional implications, goals, prognosis, and management options.
  • Consultation with other professionals involved in the rehabilitation and health care of the patient.

At Exceptional Vision, our Developmental and Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Optometrist provides Vision Therapy in Miami FL, which can greatly help in the rehabilitative process of the brain injury patient. If you or someone you know has had a brain injury and is experiencing visual discomfort, call us to make an appointment for a developmental eye exam. We will assess the visual skills discussed above and, if needed, create a vision therapy/rehabilitation program to improve the visual discomfort.

If you like this page, you may also be interested in our page on Vision Therapy for ADD and ADHD.