Brain Injury: Vision Therapy
Treatment for brain injury involves working with a number of specialists. If you have suffered a brain injury, one of the specialists that you will need to see is a neuro-optometrist. Unlike ophthalmologists who treat vision problems and eye diseases, neuro-optometrists specialize in diagnosing and treating vision problems caused by neurological events. They treat vision problems which originate in the brain, rather than in the eye itself.
Vision therapy, also known as neuro-optometric rehabilitation, changes the way your brain processes visual information. This can be accomplished using many techniques and devices including:
- Vision exercises
- Eye patches
- Computer programs
- Optical filters
- Prescription lenses
- Therapeutic lenses
- Electronic targets with timing mechanisms
- Vestibular equipment
You may have heard of eye exercises you can do at home for improving vision. The exercises used in vision therapy are quite different. They are individually prescribed for each patient and performance is closely monitored. Sometimes exercises will be performed at home, but most are performed during rehabilitation sessions under the guidance of your therapist.
The brain is constantly changing and adapting. Brain growth and changes do not end when we become adults, they can continue into old age. How and how much your brain changes are directly affected by what you do with it and how you use it. Learning new things stimulates the formation of new neural pathways.
On its own, your brain will try to compensate for injury. Vision therapy stimulate the brain to repair itself and repair or replace damaged neural connections, in a targeted more intense way, maximizing your potential for visual system recovery.
Restoring function and quality of life
Vision therapy improves visual processing which affects far more than eyesight. The way your brain processes visual input affects how you perceive and interact with your environment on many levels. Vision therapy can improve:
- Walking and balance
- Hand or foot/eye coordination
- Visual acuity
Who needs vision therapy?
If you have suffered a brain injury, you should consider consulting with a neuro-optometrist. Many of the symptoms caused by visual problems are easily misdiagnosed as other types of problems and treated ineffectively. If you are already undergoing physical or occupational therapy, and experiencing little success, you may need vision therapy as well.
Problems with memory and concentration, and especially reading problems, even if they do not seem to be vision-related, should be evaluated by a neuro-optometrist. Vision problems caused by brain injury are easily misdiagnosed as ADHD, leading to the prescription of dangerous and ineffective medications.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced brain injury attorney today.