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Neuro Optometry

Does Your Head Hurt? You Might Have Binocular Vision Dysfunction

headache womanHave you been struggling with headaches or migraines with little to no relief? If so, you might be suffering from Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD).

A standard eye exam generally won’t identify BVD. That’s why it’s important to consult a neuro-optometrist if you’re experiencing headaches or migraines.

What is Binocular Vision Dysfunction?

Binocular Vision Dysfunction is a condition where your eyes are misaligned, leading the eye muscles to strain when trying to transmit one clear image to your brain. This can result in head pain, migraines and several other symptoms. If the problem is BVD, a neuro-optometrist can diagnose the condition and provide effective treatment.

Common Symptoms of Binocular Vision Dysfunction

People with BVD typically experience some of these symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Double vision
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Eye strain
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Reduced attention span and concentration difficulties
  • Shadowed, overlapping or blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Motion sickness
  • Poor depth perception
  • Neck, upper back or shoulder pain

If BVD is the cause of your symptoms, there are several treatments including specialized prismatic optical lenses, syntonic phototherapy, and vision therapy. This then enables you to regain alignment and solve the problem.

Learning Disabilities and Reading Symptoms

Even a slight misalignment of the visual system can make learning and reading more difficult. Symptoms include: feeling tired while reading of after reading. Words may blend together, and you may skip lines or lose your place while reading.

A routine eye exam typically will not diagnose BVD, so if your child complains of headaches and is struggling with schoolwork, it is important to see the help of a behavioral, developmental, or neuro-optometrist.

Treating Headaches and Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Unlike standard eyeglasses, BVD lenses are specialized aligning lenses that allow your eyes to work together. Once your eyes are working together, the brain will receive one clear image. This may be sufficient to solve the majority of your problem. The eye muscles will then be able to relax and release the tension that can cause headaches and migraines. We can help you treat and solve these problems so you no longer have these symptoms.

If you suffer from headaches, you may have BVD or another vision problem. Schedule a vision evaluation at Family Eye Care as soon as possible. The earlier we identify a vision problem, the sooner you can receive a comprehensive treatment plan to achieve clearer and more comfortable vision.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Sayreville, Manalapan, and throughout New Jersey.

 

A Brain Injury Can Be Caused by Even a Mild Hit to the Head

TBIs Can Be Caused by Even the Mildest of Head InjuriesTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal function of the brain. Most are caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head.

A concussion may seem trivial, but it is actually a Brain Injury, even if it did not cause a loss of consciousness. Any brain injury can interfere with the brain’s visual pathways and can cause a disruption in the brain and eyes communicating properly. It can bring on many visual dysfunctions.

Studies show that 90% of TBI patients experience some form of vision disruption. These can bring on long-term, life-altering consequences, including blurred vision, visual field loss, and reading problems. It can cause symptoms similar to dyslexia and ADD/ADHD. It can cause difficulty in knowing where someone is in space, and that can cause dizziness, changes in posture, and difficulty with balance. Some individual then have to tilt their head or turn their head to avoid seeing double.

Some brain injuries, called Traumatic Brain Injuries are caused by motor accidents, blasts due to explosions, falls, physical abuse, or sports-related injuries. At times, what may seem to be a milt hit to the head, can bring about changes that seem to be disproportional to the injury. Some injuries may bring on a brain bleed while others may not bleed at all.

It may not cause pain. Symptoms may not appear for days or weeks.

TBIs and related visual symptoms must be taken seriously. If you sustained even a mild head injury but feel like you have a reason for concern, call us, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ. We can help determine the right course of treatment, and can prevent potential long-term damage. We can often help you get back to the person you were before the injury.

How Common Are TBIs?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 13.5 million individuals live with a disability caused by traumatic brain injury in the U.S. alone. Approximately 47% of traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls, particularly among young children, young men, and men and women over age 65. Fortunately, most TBIs (commonly called concussions), are mild.

How Does a TBI Affect Vision?

There are more areas of the brain that process vision than any other system. The brain is essentially a “vision machine”. Most of the information we take in from the world around us is through our visual system, and in turn, our brain also then directs our eyes to point where we want to look, so we can take in more visual information. That is why a traumatic brain injury can often cause visual problems. Such injuries can disrupt the communication between the brain and the visual system and interfere with the processing of visual information, leading to blurred vision, reading difficulties, sensitivity to light, and double vision, among other symptoms.

Visual problems tend to be overlooked during the initial treatment of brain injury, especially with mild TBIs such as a concussion or whiplash. A regular eye exam rarely identifies the extent that the visual process has been affected since the vision complications that develop are not related to visual acuity (20/20), but rather to eye teaming, focusing, and tracking.

If you are experiencing post-concussion visual symptoms, there is always the risk that they will worsen over time. Some patients notice visual problems only while experiencing additional stress, such as illness, family or work stress, or when there is a disruption to normal routines.

A Neuro-Optometric Assessment with Dr. Roth or Dr. Tiomno of Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, can determine both the severity of the impact of a TBI on your visual system, and the treatment required for your recovery.

What Treatment Can a Neuro-Optometrist Offer?

If you’ve sustained a TBI, we, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ, offer Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation. NOR is an individualized treatment regimen to rehabilitate the connection between the brain and the eyes and the visual system. This therapy can minimize or even eliminate TBI-related visual symptoms weeks, months, or even years after the injury.


Please call our office, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge NJ if you have any questions, or to schedule a Neuro-Optometric Assessment. We serve patients from Old Bridge, Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.

References:

Traumatic Brain Injuries Breaks the Visual System — And Self Esteem

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Harm the Visual System And Self EsteemA traumatic brain injury (TBI) often breaks the vital communication between the brain and the visual system, and this brings on disabling symptoms. People often have symptoms of blurred vision, double vision, difficulty reading, and dizziness. Individuals may then feel anxious, depressed, and have low self-esteem.

When someone suffers a brain injury due to a car crash, a concussion, or a stroke, they may no longer be able to do the things they were able to do before. They may have recurring headaches that require the individual to take breaks frequently when working or studying. They may have chronic dizziness, and this can lead to difficulty driving, making the individual dependent on others. A child that has suffered a TBI or a concussion may be not be able to play group sports or activities. They may then feel “alone” or “different.”

That’s where we come in. If you or a loved one has suffered even a mild TBI, speak with Dr. Roth or Dr. Tiomno. We can often help. We begin with a comprehensive examination and then a functional vision evaluation to determine what specific course of Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation program will help you.

Signs of Emotional Distress Following a TBI

A brain injury can cause double vision or eye tracking problems. Reading a book or catching a ball can then become a struggle and extremely frustrating. That can then lead someone who has suffered a brain injury to become sad, have lowered self-esteem, or even become depressed. Be alert for these signs:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Lack of interest in personal hygiene or appearance
  • Negative self-talk
  • Lack of motivation
  • Being irritable or moody
  • Reduced or lack of appetite

How a Neuro-Optometrist Can Help

It can be discouraging to hear from other health professionals that there’s nothing to be done for lingering TBI symptoms. Many professional just say to take time off or sit in a darkened room. The good news is that we, Neuro-Optometrists, can help post-TBI patients in ways that few other health care providers can.

Neuro-Optometry deals with the visual system and how it impacts daily functioning. The eyes as the most direct way to get information to the brain. The brain then sends signals to the eyes where they should move or point to. When we work on the brain through the visual system so the two communicate more effectively, symptoms like dizziness, headache, and nausea are significantly improved.

We can help patients regain abilities by retraining the eye to brain communication.

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is like putting the “tools” back into the “toolbox”, and once that is done, the individual can return to doing the things they want to be able to. This can be life-changing. Children can then return to being able to play with friends on the soccer field or basketball court. Adults can then return to being the person they once were and can be more productive at work. They can then return to being able to exercise and socialize. Returning to these activities can boost self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.

We understand the challenges that accompany a traumatic brain injury and how it can affect self-esteem.

Call us to schedule a Neuro-Optometric Evaluation so we can help you solve the visual problems you have after your brain injury.

We serve patients from Old Bridge, and the surrounding towns of Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.

 

Prism Glasses for Post-Concussion Patients

Concussions Can Affect the Visual System

Prism Glasses for Post Concussion PatientsConcussions are brain injuries resulting from physical trauma, such as a car accident, a fall, or a collision while playing sports. Left untreated, they can adversely affect one’s health for months or years to come. Because the visual system relies on the brain, a concussion can cause:

  • blurred vision
  • double vision
  • eyes misaligned while focusing
  • sensitivity to light
  • depth-perception problems
  • headaches
  • vertigo
  • balance problems
  • eyestrain
  • difficulty reading

People who experience a concussion often sustain other injuries, so medical professionals may initially overlook visual problems. Fortunately, when these problems arise, vision therapy can help.

Prisms Aid in Vision Therapy

If you’ve suffered a concussion, Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno will ask about your visual symptoms post-concussion and how your daily routine is affected. Then Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno will perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for severe optical consequences like retinal detachment or traumatic uveitis, and will evaluate your depth perception, binocular vision, and ability to focus.

Vision therapy for a concussion often includes the wearing of eyeglasses with prisms, which compensate for any changes to the visual system caused by the concussion. Prisms address spatial challenges — such as posture, depth perception, coordination, and balance — by shifting the perceived position of objects and adjusting part of the person’s visual field. You should begin to notice improvement while wearing prism eyeglasses during therapeutic exercises like walking in a corridor, taking heel-to-toe steps, and reading. If the concussion’s visual effects are more severe, Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno will prescribe prism eyeglasses for your daily use.

Prisms’ effects are real. One study found that prisms led to a 71.8 percent reduction of headache, dizziness, and anxiety symptoms in some patients with traumatic brain injury. That study also found that the use of prisms allows other post-concussion therapies — physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medication — to work more effectively.

That means a better quality of life.

 

 

At Family Eye Care, Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno uses prisms for post-concussion patients in Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Sayreville, Manalapan, and throughout New Jersey.

References:

How Vision and the Brain Work Together

How Vision and the Brain Work Together 640

There’s more to a healthy vision than meets the eye. Eye Health is certainly important, but eye health alone does not ensure that someone has good visual functional skills.

The human visual system has three components: the eyes, the visual cortex, and the connecting pathways between the two. When communication between the eyes and brain is not as smooth as it should be, then information cannot get into the brain and then the brain has difficulty making sense of that information. It could be that the connection has not developed to begin with, or it could be that it was disrupted, such as after a brain injury or stroke. The individual may then have visual symptoms that can interfere with day-to-day tasks. Even a mild brain injury, a concussion, can harm this communication. That’s where neuro-optometry comes into play.

What Is Neuro-Optometry?

Neuro-optometry treats vision-related symptoms at their source — the brain. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation re-establishes the connection between the eye and the brain. Neuro-optometrists treat the underlying reason for the symptoms and conditions caused by neurological diseases, whether they are due to congenital or metabolic conditions, or due to a brain trauma.

Services offered by neuro-optometrists include:

  • Neuro-Optometric Evaluation
  • Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Visual Processing Assessment
  • Extensive Functional Visual Evaluation
  • Eye health examination

A Functional Vision Evaluation with Dr. Roth or Dr. Tiomno will assess:

  • How well the eyes work together
  • Eye Tracking
  • Visual Memory
  • How vision is integrated with balance and coordination
  • Ability to focus and aim

Who Could Benefit From Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy?

A brain injury and other neurological conditions can affect multiple parts of the body (balance, dizziness, are examples), so patients and physicians may overlook problems in the visual system due to more pressing concerns. This is why a consultation with a Neuro-Optometrist is crucial.

Patients with any of the following conditions are urged to visit a neuro-optometrist for a complete evaluation:

  • Traumatic brain injury – (even a Concussion that may seem minor)
  • Stroke
  • Chronic brain inflammation
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Balance and mobility issues
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Any condition that affects the nervous system
  • Post traumatic vision syndrome
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Visual Midline shift syndrome
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Autism
  • Dyslexia

The above conditions can impair any of the following visual skills:

  • Eye Tracking
  • Eye Teaming
  • Eye Movement
  • Visual Perceptual
  • Focusing

Individuals who experience the following visual symptoms may also benefit from a consultation with a Neuro-Optometrist:

  • Blurred Vision
  • Double Vision
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Reduced cognitive abilities related to visual tasks

Treatment typically involves specialized lenses, special filters, prism, and/or in-office Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy that are tailored to each patient’s visual needs. Just as with other forms of therapy, an interdisciplinary approach, with cooperation from other health-care providers, is often required to facilitate a complete recovery from a neurological event.

Please contact us with any further questions you may have.

We, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge serve patients from Old Bridge, Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.

Nystagmus — Is That a Super Villain or Something?

close up photo of a clown 2970498Although the word “Nystagmus” sounds like something out of a comic book, it actually refers to a condition characterized by repetitive involuntary eye movements. The eyes may move from side to side, up and down, or in circular motions. Those affected by nystagmus will often experience reduced vision and difficulty with depth perception, balance, and coordination due to the unstable vision. At Family Eye Care, we treat a wide range of eye conditions— including nystagmus—with our neuro-optometric rehabilitation program.

Types of Nystagmus

Congenital Nystagmus

Nystagmus can begin in infancy, affecting babies as young as 2 or 3 months of age. With infantile nystagmus, the eye movements tend to be horizontal. In many cases, no treatment is required and the condition will fade on its own.

Spasmus Nutans

This form of nystagmus develops in children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years and will likely improve without any medical intervention by age 8. Children affected by this type of nystagmus will exhibit eye movements in any direction, and may tilt or nod their heads to compensate for the unstable vision.

Acquired

Acquired nystagmus develops later on in childhood or adulthood and is often associated with problems in the central nervous system or metabolic disorders.

What Can Cause Nystagmus?

Nystagmus is generally caused by a neurological problem but can also be a symptom of another disease or condition. Additionally, several factors can worsen the condition, such as stress and fatigue.

Other causes include:

  • Albinism
  • Very high myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism
  • Underdeveloped eye movement control
  • Inner ear inflammation
  • Certain medications
  • Congenital cataracts

Nystagmus Treatments

In rare cases of nystagmus, surgery may aid in improving vision by changing the position of the eye muscles that control their movement.

A more holistic approach to treating nystagmus is through neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy. Recent research has shown that this specialized form of vision therapy improves visual function in most patients with nystagmus. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy refines and improves visual skills by strengthening the brain’s control over the eyes, thereby treating the problem at its source.

Family Eye Care offers the latest in neuro-optometric rehabilitation and treats patients with several forms of visual disorders, including nystagmus. If you or a loved one are affected by this eye condition, speak with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno to learn how we can help.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Sayreville, Manalapan, and throughout New Jersey.

 

Is It Normal To Have Long-Lasting Symptoms After A Head Injury?

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair 897817Perhaps you can relate to one of these scenarios:

After sustaining a mild head injury in a car accident, you now have trouble focusing when you read. You can’t concentrate and feel the need to shut or cover your eyes to find some relief.

Or maybe your child fell and took a blow to the head while playing sports and has complained of headaches ever since. Traditional headache remedies just aren’t effective, and your primary care doctor assures you that no obvious brain damage has occurred and that the headaches will resolve shortly — but they persist. MRI’s and CT scans’s usually can’t identify a brain injury. Medccations often don’t solve the problem either.

For the estimated 1.5 million Americans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year, these scenarios are common of post-TBI struggles. Concussions and other forms of TBI can seriously impact lives by generating long-lasting symptoms. Fortunately, a Neuro-Optometrist can provide a crucial component to the healing process with neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.

If you or a loved one has suffered even a mild TBI, call our office, Famiy Eye Care in Old Bridge NJ to schedule a Functional Vision Examination to determine if you could benefit from Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy.

What Types of Symptoms Follow a Head Injury?

The brain controls much of what goes on in our bodies, so it’s no surprise that a TBI can produce a wide range of symptoms. Below we’ll discuss the most common symptoms and how we can help treat them.

Visual Difficulties

Approximately 90% of all TBIs result in some degree of visual dysfunction. When the eye-brain connection is disrupted, a decrease in visual ability results. Some visual difficulties that may follow a TBI include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Convergence insufficiency — the inability of the eyes to focus on a near object
  • Binocular vision disorder — eye turn or lazy eye
  • Problems with eye-tracking or eye-teaming
  • Difficulty reading or often losing your place while reading
  • Color contrast issues
  • Peripheral vision defects
  • Eye strain or tired eyes
  • Decreased visual acuity

Headaches and Migraines

In many cases, headaches, including migraines, can be caused by a visual dysfunction. Following a Traumatic Brain Injury it takes more effort to control and coordinate the 12 muscles that control eye position. This additional effort then leads to eye strain. It can bring on symptoms such as pain in the temples and forehead. It may have symptoms similar to, and may be mistaken for, a tension headache or migraine. Addressing the visual problem will, in many cases, alleviate the intensity and frequency of headaches, or eliminate them entirely.

Dizziness and Balance Problems

The eyes provide the brain with vital information regarding balance and coordination, so when the eye-brain connection is affected you may feel off-balance. This is especially true when a binocular vision disorder is present. Even the slightest misalignment of the eyes can make you feel dizzy, light-headed, or lose balance. Small degrees of misalignment can often be overlooked during routine eye exams, making it all the more important to see a neuro-optometrist in the presence of symptoms.

Concentration

Another possible after-effect of a concussion or other TBI is difficulty concentrating, especially when reading. It may be challenging to keep your place on the page or smoothly navigate along a sentence without having to stop and close your eyes momentarily for relief. Other potential challenges include problems with comprehension, memory difficulties, or trouble with multitasking.

Is It Normal To Have Long-Lasting Symptoms After A Head Injury? generic from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

How A Neuro-Optometrist Can Help

Neuro-optometrists are Doctors of Optometry (OD) who have additional postgraduate training to assess and treat visual disorders related to TBI and other similar conditions. The goal of Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is to retrain the eyes and brain to work in unison and regain clear and comfortable vision by using specific sequence of visual tasks or exercises. As with any other rehabilitation therapy, the earlier one starts the rehabilitation program following a TBI, the greater the chance of recovering lost visual skills.

We, at Family eye care in Old Brdige NJ, provide Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy and other services to patients from the surrounding areas, including Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Aberdeen, Monroe, Manalapsan, Marlboro, Matawan, South Amboy, South River. People from even further distances throughout NJ come to obtain care in our office.

https://www.theraspecs.com/blog/long-term-effects-of-moderate-severe-traumatic-brain-injuries-tbi/

https://www.aao.org/eyenet/article/traumatic-brain-injury-visual-disorders-what-every-2

http://uwmsktc.washington.edu/sites/uwmsktc/files/files/TBI_cognitive.pdf

 

Dizziness and Balance: How Vision Plays a Vital Role

dizzyImagine trying to navigate a grocery store when, all of a sudden, a dizzy spell hits. The room starts to spin and you lose your balance. You struggle to stand up straight, your vision becomes blurred and orienting yourself in your surroundings becomes insurmountable. To those with vertigo and balance problems, performing simple daily tasks — such as grocery shopping — can feel defeating.

Maintaining proper balance is complex and relies on the collective, healthy functioning of three separate systems: the inner ear, muscle-joint feedback, and vision. Ongoing research suggests that there may be a relationship between a heightened risk of falling and poor vision.

If you experience frequent dizzy spells and difficulty maintaining your balance, make an appointment with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno to rule out any visual dysfunction that could be at the root of the problem.

How Does Vision Affect Balance and Dizziness?

A good sense of balance depends on your ability to see where you are in relation to your surroundings as well as where certain key body parts are in relation to the rest of the body. This information is received by receptors in the muscles and joints but also implicates vision.

The most important visual skill needed to maintain balance is binocular vision, which is the eyes’ ability to work together in creating a clear and unified view of the world around you. The visual system helps regulate the other systems involved in maintaining balance, this means that any defect in the visual system can lead to frequent falls and a balance disorder.

Visual dysfunctions that cause blurred or double vision are common in balance disorders, but can also be its root cause. By improving your vision functionality, you could significantly improve balance and diminish the frequency of dizzy spells.

We Treat Visual Dysfunctions To Improve Balance and Reduce Dizziness

To get to the root of the condition and to assess its connection with vision, Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno will evaluate a wide range of visual skills, such as oculomotor skills, eye teaming and tracking, focusing, visual processing, and how well the brain interprets visual information.

If a visual dysfunction is detected, a fully customized neuro-optometric rehabilitation program will be provided to treat the visual components contributing to the balance disorder. With the patient’s participation and diligence, the visual skills and abilities can be improved over time.

What Is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy?

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy, a form of vision therapy, enables those suffering from visual problems to retrain the brain and eyes to regain functionality and quality of life. This therapy uses a variety of methods and techniques to train both eyes to work as a team. It is made up of individualized exercises, which, when done over a period of time rehabilitate visual, perceptual and motor disorders, thus helping the patient regain balance. This effectively reduces or resolves symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, and lack of balance.

The neuro-optometric rehabilitation program offered at Family Eye Care can help detect and treat the underlying vision problem causing your dizziness and balance issues.

If you’ve tried other types of therapies and still experience dizziness and balance problems, it’s time to see what Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno can do for you. Start your journey to recovery by calling Family Eye Care and schedule your appointment today.

Dizziness and Balance: How Vision Plays A Vital Role from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Sayreville, Manalapan, and throughout New Jersey.

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.

Tips to Avoid a Concussion or TBI

close up eye lips blog imageThe complexity of the brain is truly fascinating; any slight change in its chemistry or structural integrity can result in a multitude of health problems, such as visual disturbances or permanent vision loss. This can affect everyday activities such as driving, walking, reading, using a computer, and staying focused. Below we’ll discuss what traumatic brain injury is and how to avoid one.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is an injury to the brain caused by physical trauma, typically a sudden blow or bump to the head.

Concussions — a mild form of brain injury — are very common and makeup 75% of all TBI incidents. A concussion involves a short loss of normal brain function, as the hit can cause the brain to bounce around in rapid motion within the skull, occasionally causing chemical changes or damaging brain cells.

Moderate to severe TBIs cause the victim to lose consciousness from a few minutes to several hours. This can impact cognitive capacity along with other visual symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty reading and writing
  • Partial or total loss of vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Weakened eye muscles

There are numerous ways a TBI can occur, most of which are activities most of us do on a daily basis.

What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury?

Head injuries that cause TBI can happen during everyday activities such as running, hiking, swimming, or competitive sports.

The most common causes of TBIs are:

  • Sports injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Being struck by an object

TBIs are more common than one would expect, affecting 10 million individuals around the globe annually. Below we’ll discuss what steps to take in order to prevent a TBI.

Tips for Avoiding Concussion and TBI

ski kidsOne of the best ways to protect against a concussion or TBI is to avoid any risky behavior. While this isn’t always possible, there are some steps you can take to protect your brain and eyes from trauma and damage.

Here are our top four tips:

1) Wear Protective Sports Gear

There are 3.8 million TBIs occurring each year in the US, and 20% are from sports. Wearing protective helmets and eyewear when playing basketball, baseball, or football can help prevent serious injuries, especially in children.

Speak with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno about shatter-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex lenses, known for their impact-resistant materials.

2) Wear Sunglasses

Sun glare can cause momentary blindness. It’s that quick second of feeling blinded by the sun while you’re outside, driving in a car, or at the beach that can make you vulnerable to injury. An easy way to guard against this is by wearing sunglasses.

Sunglasses with polarized lenses prevent glare from entering your eyes by blocking strong light that reflects off surfaces such as glass, water, snow, sand, or pavement. Make sure that the sunglasses you choose contain 100% UV-blocking protection. Photochromic lenses are a smart option for those with prescription eyeglasses, as they darken when outside and revert back to clear lenses when indoors.

3) Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

As obvious as this may sound, people often forget to pay close attention to their surrounding environment. We all know that talking on the phone or texting while driving is dangerous, but being unaware of what’s happening around you can pose certain risks as well. Try to reduce your distractions when walking, driving, or performing any extraneous labor. When outdoors, be on the lookout for sharp objects or debris that can pose a risk.

4) Don’t Forget to Wear Your Seatbelt

Parents and doctors have been drumming it into our heads for years, and for good reason! The #1 way to prevent or reduce car accident injuries is by wearing a seatbelt. According to The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.6 million American drivers and passengers were treated in hospital emergency rooms for car accident-related injuries in 2016. Transport Canada estimates that 25% of car accidents where victims were not wearing seat belts resulted in serious injuries, while 55% were fatal. In fact, car accidents are the number one cause of TBI-related deaths in America, especially among adults aged 20-24.

How a TBI Affects Vision

A TBI can negatively impact your vision, leading to sensitivity to light, blurry or double vision, or persistent eyestrain. In many cases, certain types of activities that were easier before the TBI suddenly become difficult. These include reading a book, driving a car, or watching TV.

Studies show that about 90% of TBI patients suffer from such visual dysfunctions, making it all the more critical to take precautionary measures in staying safe.

If you or a loved one displays any of these symptoms following a TBI, contact Family Eye Care right away. Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno can offer a neuro-optometric rehabilitation program to help regain any visual skills that were lost. Feel free to call us with any questions you may have – we’re here for you.

REFERENCES

https://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/severe-tbi-symptoms/

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/concussion-tbi.htm

https://noravisionrehab.org/patients-caregivers/facts-and-figures

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbelts/facts.html

https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/road/publications/canadian-motor-vehicle-traffic-collision-statistics-2016.html