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Vision Therapy for Brain Injury

ABOUT VISION PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH BRAIN INJURIES

Often visual problems resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury are overlooked during initial treatment of the injury. Frequently these problems are hidden and neglected, lengthening and impairing rehabilitation. Vision is the most important source of sensory information. Consisting of a sophisticated complex of subsystems, the visual process involves the flow and processing of information to the brain. Because there is a close relationship between vision and the brain, Traumatic Brain Injury can disrupt the visual process, interfering with the flow and processing of information. The result is a vision problem. Symptoms indicating a vision problem are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Reading difficulties; words appear to move
  • Comprehension difficulty
  • Attention and concentration difficulty
  • Memory difficulty
  • Double vision
  • Aching eyes
  • Headaches with visual tasks
  • Loss of visual field

Brain injuries can come in many forms. Below are some common diagnoses:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Mild Acquired Brain Injury
  • Mild Closed Head Injury
  • Post-Concussive Syndrome
  • Cervical Trauma Syndrome
  • Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cerebral Vascular Accident

Essentially, 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, such as:
    1. ocular pursuits (eye tracking ability)
    2. saccadics (shifting gaze quickly from one point to the other)
    3. accommodative inability (focusing)
    4. binocular vision (eye alignment, eye teaming)
  • Visual field loss

These visual problems can be successfully decreased or eliminated with various treatments, such as:

  • Vision Therapy
  • Neuro-optometric Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Corrective lenses, such as prism lenses
  • Phototherapy programs (Syntonic Optometry, Light Therapy)

Eye muscle surgery (strabismus surgery) is a very questionable treatment option for visual consequences of brain injury, because — unlike rehabilitative therapy, eye muscle surgery does not treat the problems occurring in the patient’s brain.

To learn more, read the following articles:
Traumatic Brain Injury & Hidden Visual Problems
Brain Injury Success Stories
Conditions Treated by Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation
Frequently Asked Questions: Eye Muscle Surgery
Loss of Visual Field Due to Brain Injury
Visual Problems Associated with Neurological Events
What is Vision Therapy?
Visual training teaches the brain to see again after stroke

More Information: http://www.braininjuries.org/traumatic_brain_injury.html