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Football Trivia: How Can An Eye Doctor Help Athletes After a Head Injury?

football player holding football 159515Did you know that according to the National Football League's (NFL) injury data, NFL athletes sustain a combined total of 200-300 concussions per year? Any high-impact sport places the player at high risk for potential brain injury, which can affect other areas and functions of the body – such as vision. Neuro-Optometrists can help someone heal faster after a concussion and other brain injuries so they can regain lost visual abilities and skills.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is called a "mild" traumatic brain injury (TBI), although the outcome can be very far from "mild".  It occurs after a forceful impact to the head.  In many cases, a concussion is NOT identified by a CT scan or an MRI.  It often does NOT lead to unconsciousness or lost vision, but it may result in other symptoms, such as:

  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Sluggish feeling
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Headache
  • Balance problems

Symptoms range in severity, depending on the degree of injury and impact.  Studies show that 90% of all concussions are followed by some form of visual dysfunction.

How Can Concussions Affect Vision?

A concussion can bring about visual disturbances, such as blurred or double vision, eyestrain, or problems with reading. Issues with eye coordination or eye-teaming may also occur after a head trauma.  This can cause both visual and cognitive problems, such as difficulty thinking, mood swings, frustration, attention deficits, headaches, and memory issues.

If you or a loved one is faced with a concussion or displays any of the above symptoms following a head injury, it’s important to call pour office, Family eye care in Old Bridge, NJ  for a complete assessment of visual function to regain any lost visual skills and abilities.

How Neuro-Optometrists Treat Sports-Related Injuries

Neuro-Optometrists have additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of visual problems that come about after a concussions. It’s important to note that not all optometrists are trained in this specific area, so it’s best to choose a doctor experienced in treating those with concussions or other traumatic brain injuries.

The Neuro-Optometrist begin by assessing eye health and evaluating visual skills such as eye teaming, focusing, tracking, and depth perception. we can then help by using a personalized treatment plan. This specific therapy, called Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation therapy, aims to improve various acquired visual dysfunctions that follow a head injury.

Football Trivia: How Can An Eye Doctor Help Athletes After A Head Injury? from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

This kind of rehabilitation promotes recovery through various therapies and activities that retrain the neural processes of the brain. By establishing new brain pathways (also known as neuroplasticity), patients learn to use other parts of the brain in order to recover the function of the impacted regions of the brain, in this case —vision.

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is an individualized plan directed by a therapist in our office.  It also involves the use of specialized lenses and prisms (among other tools) as part of the rehabilitation strategy. Anyone who has any of the above symptoms following a TBI should visit a Neuro-Optometrist so you have the best opportunity for maximal recovery.  At times, visual dysfunction can show up in areas that may seem unrelated to vision, such as anxiety, panic attacks or balance/posture problems. Anyone who’s suffered a concussion or TBI, regardless of age, can benefit from a Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation program.

Accidents occur more often than one would expect. If you or your child suffer from a concussion after a sports injury, you can rely on Dr. Moshe Roth at Family eye care in Old Bridge, NJ  for the expertise and professionalism you need. You can reach us at 732-679-2020 to schedule your appointment.

We, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ provide Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation therapy and other services to patients from Old Brdig,e Sayreville, east Brunswick, Matawan., Manalapan, Marlboro, and throughout New Jersey.

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