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Brain Injury or Concussion? Consult with a Neuro-Optometrist

Have you had a concussion or brain injury?
Neuro-Optometrists are an important part of the recovery team

Sport kids football smWe frequently hear of many NFL players and other professional athletes that have suffered concussions, but concussions occur every day to many people.  It could be due to a sports injuries, falling off a bike, or due to a car accident. Concussions are a type of Brain Injury that can cause problems in brain function due to a blow or strike to the head.  Neuro-optometrists are eye doctors that identify and treat the visual symptoms associated with Brain Injury. This can affect schoolwork and employed work.

Vision occurs in the brain rather than in the eyes.  It is certainly important to determining that the eyeball itself has not been damaged, but vision goes considerably beyond that.  Neuro-optometrists provide a service that other professionals are not able to render. Diagnosis and treatment extends far beyond a standard eye health exam.  Neuro-optometrists understand the visual system and they are a key part of the post-concussion care team.

Knowing the symptoms

Along with mental confusion, nausea and irritability, patients with traumatic brain injuries typically experience visual symptoms including:

  • Double vision
  • Poor eye-tracking ability
  • Difficulty shifting their gaze quickly between points.
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye strain

"Very often, doctors of optometry can provide significant improvements in those symptoms," says Amanda Nanasy, O.D., AOA Sports & Performance Vision Committee chair and team doctor of optometry for the Miami Dolphins and the University of Central Florida Knights.

An injury can also affect a person's spatial orientation, balance and depth perception.  A more indepth eye exam can identify problems with convergence (how the eyes are working together as a team), and accommodation (focusing). An injury can cause blurry vision at near, headaches and eyestrain while using the computer or digital devices.  This can affect schoolwork or employed work. At times, an eyeglasses prescription change may be needed and can make a huge improvement. In many cases, individuals with TBI benefit from neuro-optometric therapy to regain visual skills. We have solutions to help people who have vision-related problems that occur after a TBI.  This can be life changing. Neuro-optometrists are in a unique position to make sure patients are ready to return to work, play, or return to learning after a brain trauma. Without this specialized care, many continue to suffer the consequences of their injury. The good news is that improvement is possible. Once we address the visual components, there is often greater success and faster treatment in other therapies, such as occupational and physical therapy.  This helps people return to their prior abilities sooner.

Click here to view and download a recently updated concussion fact sheet, designed to help patients understand the role of optometry in concussion diagnosis, management and care.

Vision Therapy Partners helps those with concussion and brain injury.  Contact us to help you best recover.