Vision Therapy For Traumatic Brain Injury
Serving Caledon, Mississauga, Vaughan, North York, York Region and Brampton ON
Brain Injuries such as whiplash and concussions can cause serious vision issues that make it difficult to do many of the tasks we take for granted.
Common vision issues from TBI are:
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- A loss of side vision (peripheral vision)
- Pain or achy eyes
- Difficulty with spatial assessment (depth perception, sports, balance)
There are many different types of brain injuries that can affect vision including Traumatic Brain Injury, Acquired Brain Injury, Mild Closed Head Injury, Concussion, Whiplash, Stroke (CerebralVascular Accident), and Cerebral Palsy. These may result in Hemianopsia or Hemianopia, Post-Concussion Syndrome, Cervical Trauma Syndrome, Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome, or other visual disorders.
An optometrist that focuses on traumatic acquired brain injury will work with a vision therapist to assess how the brain acquires and processes visual information prior to developing a rehabilitation program for the patient. The focus of vision therapy for an acquired brain injury is to treat the visual symptoms which will then allow the patient to pursue other forms of rehabilitation more effectively.
Any trauma to the head can cause a brain injury that leads to some kind of vision loss. Car accidents with whiplash, sports injuries, strokes, brain tumors, infections or inflammation of the brain are some of the more common causes of vision loss from acquired brain injuries.
When treating vision issues that have arisen from traumatic brain injury such as a concussion, it is important to choose a doctor that is trained in Neuro Visual Rehabilitation or vision therapy with a focus on TBI. Our Optometrist, Dr. McKenzie, and associates are members of the Canadian Optometrists in Vision Therapy & Rehabilitation, the premier organization for Canadian optometrists that help patients with Traumatic Brain Injury.
Common Vision Conditions that Arise From TBI/Concussions
Binocular Vision Issues/Eye Teaming:
Binocular vision refers to the ability of the brain to use both eyes simultaneously to focus on one object. This task is used to create depth perception and a wider field of view among other important visual tasks. The most common Binocular issue is convergence insufficiency which affects reading, balance and spatial perception.
Accommodative Eye Focusing:
Accommodative focusing problems lead to a variety of symptoms such as blurry vision, eye strain, difficulty focusing, and headaches.
Eye Movement and Tracking/Oculomotor Dysfunction:
Some experts estimate that up to 90% of people with traumatic brain injury experience some form of oculomotor dysfunction. This visual skill is essential for reading, using the computer, and other skills.
Over 80,000 people in Ontario will suffer from a traumatic brain injury this year:
20-40% will experience vision loss
Vision & Brain Injuries: What Does The Research Say?
This video series is taken from my keynote speech at the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association conference.
A.M. Barrett, MD, is a cognitive neurologist, specialized in neurorehabilitation, and Director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research.