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Menier’s Disease Patient Testimonial from Neuro-Otologist

We’re here with AG and she’s gonna relate her story. She’s now completing her program and vision therapy. She was originally referred by a neurologist as a specialist, as a specialist in not only hearing, but rather the balance system, uh, particularly after somebodies suffered, some sort of brain injury. But doesn’t necessarily have to be a brain injury, could be like you’ve described many years disease. So why don’t you share with us, what precipitated, what brought you to our office, how you feel now, what benefits, how you work this into your life?

I think I’ve always had some sort of an issue with my eyes working together, even as a child. When I first got glasses, I would always close one. I’d read to actually have everything in focus. And then quite recently I was having some bad vertigo spells, and I was diagnosed with the nearest case and the doctor, Meniere’s disease, checked my vision because I was having many headaches and also on the eval to read basically a full email for work or even work on many Excel sheets or, um, I was tired, irritable at the end of the day. And really couldn’t, couldn’t do very much, I couldn’t drive.

I wasn’t able to even go to those simple some things and blows the grocery store without getting dizzy or having a headache. And so the doctor thought that it might be something with my eyes and referred me to Dr.

Roth and the team here. And I’ve been here, before my therapy since, I think it’s been, I don’t know, 72 sessions and I have, I feel like I’m living a different life now. I’m able to do the things that I couldn’t do with ease. Work is a lot easier. Reading emails, transposing numbers, even reading books to my children. Isn’t a task anymore. It’s fun.

I can go to the grocery store without getting dizzy. I can, I can drive again. And it’s, it’s, you know, things that I’ve forgotten almost were happening now because it’s been, it’s been such a difference in change in my vision.

That’s great. So we’re, we’re so we’re so proud of you and we’re so happy that we were able to help. Sounds like, like there’s been a huge impact in your life.

Yes. And I’m so grateful. So everyone you know, I’m sure my, I was just leaving you out, how different even my kids and my husband have seen the impact because I can do more and it’s happier. So it’s been wonderful. It’s really wonderful.

What is your husband or your kids say? What did he say?

Well, they were quite interested in some of the exercises I would doing, especially my ten-year-old said C would help me, but they were, you know, they’re just, they’re just happy to have me back basically.

That’s wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing that. Thank you.

COVID-Induced Brain Injury and Persistent Visual Problems

Dr. S. Moshe Roth, OD, FCOVD

I have seen patients who have “recovered” from COVID but despite that, have persistent visual and visually-induced problems. Their symptoms are similar to individuals who have suffered a Brain Injury. Examples of an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) are stroke and brain tumor. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can be caused by a fall or a car crash. A concussion is a “mild” Traumatic Brain Injury.

Individuals who have had COVID-19 may suffer vision problems such as blurred vision, double vision, poor depth perception and sensitivity to light. Other common visually-induced symptoms are difficulty paying attention, headaches, brain fog, memory problems, and forgetfulness. Some people complain of vertigo and dizziness. The reason for that is that the visual system is directly linked to the balance system, located in the inner ear. These visual issues are very different from eyeglass problems. Patients may report these symptoms to their doctors but may be frustrated in getting relief. Most of the information available online relates to the eye itself, termed “ocular” (conjunctivitis, retinitis, etc.) rather than visual problems that occur in the brain.

Most people who have had COVID recover completely within a few weeks. Patients expect to feel back to normal but some people continue to experience symptoms. They struggle even weeks and months later, and are often at a loss where to seek help. The virus can damage the lungs, heart and brain, which increases the risk of long-term health problems. COVID deprives the body of oxygen. Ventilators are used to mitigate the effects on the lungs, but the effects of oxygen deprivation on the brain are less publicized. It stands to reason that anoxia (lack of oxygen) is the underlying reason for the brain-based problems and the vision complications.

More general symptoms include: difficulty breathing, difficulty making it through the day without having to take a nap, and difficulty exercising. Patients present with symptoms of lightheadedness and feeling lethargic for months after the illness. They often talk about its impact on their mental health.

The term “Long Haulers” is used to describe individuals who have persistent post-COVID symptoms. The National Institutes of Health refers to long-term COVID-19 symptoms as PASC; Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2. More common terms are: post-COVID syndrome, long COVID-19, or long-term COVID.

Neuro-Optometry and Neuro-Ophthalmology sound similar but are really 2 different subspecialties. Dr. Eric Singman, MD PhD, a Neuro-Ophthalmologist at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore MD, best explained the difference between these two professions when he said: “Neuro-Ophthalmologists can diagnose what HAD happened, but Neuro-Optometrists can change what CAN happen”. Neuro-Optometrists help individuals who have suffered a brain injury, to regain abilities through Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy. People who have suffered COVID-Induced Brain Injury are helped in a similar manner to those individuals who have suffered Acquired Brain Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and concussion.

Dr. Roth is a Neuro-Optometrist and is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

4 Tips To Avoid a Traumatic Brain Injury

4 Tips To Avoid a Traumatic Brain Injury 640×350A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury to the brain caused by physical trauma, typically a sudden bump or blow to the head.

Concussions — a mild form of brain injury — are very common and represent approximately 80% of all TBI incidents. A concussion is a temporary loss of brain function caused by the brain bouncing around in fast motion within the skull, sometimes producing chemical changes or damaging the functioning of the brain cells.

Moderate to severe TBIs can cause loss of consciousness— from a few minutes to several hours.

Any TBI, whether mild or severe, can affect cognitive abilities and cause visual symptoms such as:

  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Partial or total loss of vision
  • Weakened eye muscles

4 Tips for Avoiding a Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the best ways to protect yourself from a concussion or more serious TBI is to put safety first, whatever your activity.

Wear Protective Sports Gear

Approximately 69 million TBIs occur each year worldwide, of which about 50% are sports-related. Wearing protective eyewear and a helmet when playing baseball, football, basketball, hockey or any other sport, can help prevent serious injuries, especially in children.

Wear Sunglasses

Glare from the sun can temporarily blind you while driving, walking across the street — during any activity, really. Wearing sunglasses is a simple way to reduce glare and prevent glare-related accidents.

Polarized sunglasses filter intense light that reflects off surfaces like water, glass, sand, snow and pavement, preventing glare from entering your eyes. Make sure the sunglasses you choose also offer 100% UV protection. Photochromic lenses are a good choice for people who wear prescription glasses since they darken when outdoors and become clear again indoors.

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

As basic as it may seem, people often fail to pay attention to their surroundings. When walking, driving, or doing any other activity, try to minimize distractions. Stand still while speaking on your cell phone or texting. When you’re walking outside, keep an eye out for sidewalk cracks as well as overhanging branches and other sharp items or debris that could be hazardous.

Don’t Forget to Wear Your Seatbelt

For years, parents and doctors have been drumming this into our heads, and for good reason! The #1 way to prevent or minimize an injury from a car accident is by wearing a seatbelt.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information National Library of Medicine, one-quarter of all TBIs in North America are caused by road accidents. Those numbers rise to more than 50% in Southeast Asia and Africa.

How a TBI Affects Vision

A traumatic brain injury can impair your vision, causing light sensitivity, double or blurry vision, and persistent eye strain. In many cases, activities like reading a book, driving a car or watching TV can become much more challenging — or impossible — as a result of a TBI.

According to Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 90% of TBI patients suffer from visual dysfunction, making it all the more crucial to take precautionary measures to stay safe.

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Can Help With Brain Injuries

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is a personalized treatment program for patients with visual deficits due to physical disabilities and TBIs. The goal of neuro-optometric rehab is to minimize visual disability so that a patient can continue to perform daily activities, whether it’s learning in a classroom or being able to function in the workplace.

A neuro-optometric rehabilitation optometrist evaluates many functions of the visual system, such as how the eyes work together. Treatment options may include the use of various filters and prisms, and visual exercises to strengthen the brain-eye connection.

If you or a loved one displays double vision, light sensitivity, dizziness or any other TBI-related visual or balance-related symptoms, contact Family Eye Care immediately. Following evaluation, Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno may offer a customized neuro-optometric rehabilitation program to help regain any lost visual skills.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: What Does a Neuro-Optometrist Do?

A: A neuro-optometrist diagnoses general eye health problems and corrects refractive errors to improve visual acuity, as well as assess functional binocularity, spatial vision, and visual processing abilities.

Q: What causes a TBI?

A: Traumatic brain injuries can occur during everyday activities like walking, swimming, hiking, running or playing competitive sports.

The most common causes of TBIs are:

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


Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

 

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Call Us 732-993-3420

3 Ways Neuro-Optometry Can Help Stroke Survivors

3 Ways Neuro Optometry Can Help Stroke Survivors 640Approximately 15 million people around the world suffer from a stroke each year. Visual Dysfunction occurs in 2 out of every 3 stroke survivors. These problems can range from irritating to debilitating and can seriously affect a person’s quality of life and ability to function. Fortunately, there is hope for stroke survivors who suffer from stroke-related vision problems.

In our office, Family Eye Care, we are dedicated to helping patients who have suffered a stroke and help patients regain visual skills so they can enjoy a better quality of life.

Below, we’ll explore how a stroke can impact vision and what a neuro-optometrist can do to help.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when oxygen does not reach the brain, either due to leaking or bursting blood vessels, or a blockage within the blood vessel. Patients who have had COVID and have “recovered” have similar symptoms, even if their COVID symptoms were relatively mild. Serious brain damage can occur within minutes of a stroke, making early intervention crucial.

Signs of a stroke include:

  • Paralysis
  • Numb or weak limbs
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Trouble walking
  • Dizziness or loss of coordination

A large portion of the brain is involved with vision, therefore, a stroke frequently affect the visual processing.

How a Stroke Can Affect Vision

If a stroke occurs in the areas of the brain that control the eye, it can cause:

  • Blurred vision
  • Visual field loss
  • Double vision
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nystagmus — rapid, uncontrolled eye movements

When a stroke affects the areas of the brain responsible for visual processing, it can cause:

  • Unilateral Visual Inattention. Many people still use the older term: Visual Neglect. This means that an individual ignores what they see on one side. This is a bit different than a Visual Field loss. Some people still use the term Visual Field Cut.
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Poor depth and movement perception
  • Difficulty recognizing objects or people

3 Ways a Neuro-Optometrist Can Help Stroke Survivors

1. Identify and Diagnose Any Visual Dysfunction

A Neuro-Optometrist has special training and expertise required to correctly identify, diagnose and treat even slight visual dysfunction that may be causing symptoms. A Neuro-Optometrist renders a Functional Visual Evaluation to assess neurological vision-related complications and identify the type of vision loss caused by the stroke.

2. Rehabilitate the Visual System

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy provides visual procedures to retrain the brain to use the visual system more effectively. This means using the eyes to work together and then to make better sense of what someone is seeing. A stroke may break certain neural connections. Neuroplasticity is the process of regaining those damaged connections. The benefits are long-lasting and the goal is to return to as many skills as possible.

3. Prescribe the Correct Lenses or Prisms, As Needed

Neuro-Optometrists prescribe specialize lenses or prisms to aid in the therapeutic process. Prism lenses shift images into the functioning part of a patient’s visual field, or, in the case of double vision or visual inattention (neglect), bring the images from each eye together to see one whole picture. Often prism alone can bring significant relief and improve symptoms like disorientation or double vision. Syntonic Phototherapy (see elsewhere on our website) can bring on remarkable changes.

Some patients only visit an occupational therapist or physical therapist after a stroke, especially if they are in a hospital or rehabilitation center. These are often helpful, but may not fully address the entirety of the visual problem.

How We Can Help

We offer patients who had suffered a stroke the ability to regain and restore visual skills through Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation. We have programs specifically for individuals who have suffered a stroke to restore independence and return to the person you once were. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy enables individuals who suffer from Dizziness and Vertigo by rebuilding the connection between the visual and the vestibular (balance system) that is in the inner ear. This then reduces depression and increasing confidence levels.

If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke, we can help. To schedule your functional visual evaluation, contact Family Eye Care today.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: #1: Other than stroke patients, who can benefit from neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy?

  • A: Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy can help any person suffering from visual dysfunction after a head injury, traumatic brain injury or stroke, or anyone with neurological conditions that impact their vision. If you experience any symptoms associated with visual dysfunction like dizziness, disorientation, headaches, nausea or difficulty concentrating— it may be time to visit your neuro-optometrist.

Q: #2: Can neuro-optometry help if the stroke occurred months or years ago?

  • A: The best time to start treatment is as soon as possible following a stroke or head injury, but treatment can also be effective years later. The basis of neuro-optometry is neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change and build new neural connections. As long as a person is alive, there is potential to heal their visual system.

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Call Us 732-993-3420

Do you have to lose consciousness to have a brain injury

Do you have to lose consciousness to have a brain injury?

I’m Dr. Moshe Roth, I practice at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

A brain injury can be caused by even a mild hit to the head. A traumatic brain injury is a disruption and the normal function of the brain most are caused by a blow, a bump or a jolt to the head. You can have a TBI, even if you haven’t lost consciousness.

A concussion may seem trivial, but it’s actually a brain injury. Even if it didn’t cause a loss of consciousness, any brain injury can interfere with the brains visual pathways. It can cause a disruption in the brain and the eyes communicate properly. It can bring on many visual dysfunctions.

Studies have shown that 90% of TBI patients experienced some sort of visual disruption. These can bring on long-term and life altering consequences, including blurred vision, visual field loss and reading problems.

A very common symptom of traumatic brain injury is sensitivity to light. It can cause symptoms that are similar to dyslexia or to add or ADHD.

It can cause difficulties and knowing where somebody is in space and that can cause dizziness changes in posture and difficulty with balance.

Some individuals that have to tilt their head or turn their head in order to avoid seeing double.

Some brain injuries called traumatic brain injuries are caused by a motor vehicle accident, a blast due to an explosion, a fall, physical abuse or a sports related injury.

At times, what may seem to be a mild hit to the head can bring about changes that seem to be disproportionate to the injury.

Some injuries may bring on a brain bleed while others may not bleed at all.

It may not cause me symptoms may not appear for days or weeks TBIs and related visual symptoms must be taken seriously if you sustain even a mild head injury, but feel that you have a reason for concern, call us.

We can help determine the right course of treatment. Then we can prevent potential long-term damage. We can often offer help to get you back to being the person that you were before the injury.

How can a neuro optometrist help someone who has suffered a brain injury

How could a Neuro Optometrist help somebody who suffered a brain injury?

Whether it’s acquired like a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, like a car accident or a concussion, it could be discouraging to hear from other health professionals that there’s nothing to be done for lingering TBI symptoms.

Many professional professionals say, well, just sit in a darkened room.

The good news is that neuro optometrists can help people who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury that few other healthcare providers can. Neuro optometry deals with the visual system and how it impacts daily function. Neuro means brain. So here we’re working on the brain. The eyes are the most direct way to get information from the outside into the brain. The brain then sends signals to the eyes where they should be pointing or how they should be moving. When we work on the brain through the visual system, so to communicate more effectively symptoms like dizziness and headache and nausea are significantly reduced.

We get our patients regain abilities by retraining the eye-brain communication.

Neuro optometric rehabilitation is like putting the tools back into the toolbox. After all the tools have been spilled out from the toolbox. Once that’s done, the individual can return to doing the things that they want to be able to do, and it could be life changing.

Children can then return to being able to play with their friends on the soccer field, or the basketball court.

Adults can then return to being the person that they once were and can be more productive at work. They could 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 schedule and neuro optometric evaluation so we can help you solve the visual problems that you have after you’ve suffered a brain injury. You can reach us at (732) 679-2020 or through our website..

How is Vision Affected After a Stroke

headache woman

Many people who have a brain injury, Acquired (i.e. stroke, brain tumor, Multiple Sclerosis) or Traumatic (concussion, car accident, fall, etc.) have a visual dysfunction.

Each person responds differently. There are 4 major categories of vision loss can be caused by a stroke. A stroke can damage any segment of the neural pathway (wiring in the brain) that connects the eyes to the brain or a section of the brain that processes the images the eyes send it. Damage to either area can lead to vision loss.

Stroke-related vision problems can make daily living a challenge. Fortunately, there is hope for stroke survivors who suffer from visual symptoms.

In honor of World Stroke Awareness Month, we’ll explore 4 types of stroke-related visual problems, and how Family Eye Care can help.

  1. Visual Field Loss

A stroke can damage certain areas of the brain responsible for either central or peripheral vision, causing a portion of the visual field to be lost, causing vision to be ‘blacked-out’ or have ‘blind spots.’

In most cases, the same area of the visual field is lost in both eyes. This condition is called homonymous visual field loss, meaning a person may not be able to see the right or left side of their visual field from each eye.

Affected individuals may have difficulty with reading and may bump into things located in their blind spots.

  1. Visual Processing Difficulties

Sometimes, a person may be able to see everything in their visual field but will have problems processing that visual information. For example, they may have the ability to see another person’s face, but might not recognize it. They may also have difficulty identifying or interacting with common objects, affecting daily tasks such as making a cup of coffee.

Visual neglect is a common type of visual processing problem. People with this condition aren’t aware that they aren’t seeing people or objects on the right or left side of their visual field.

  1. Eye Movement Problems

A stroke can damage the delicate nerves that control the eyes’ movements. A person who cannot control their eye nerves may have difficulty moving their eyes in order to shift their focus from one object to the next or have trouble tracking moving objects.

Nystagmus (involuntary and rapid eye movements) is also a possible complication of ocular nerve damage.

If only one eye is affected, the patient will usually experience double or blurred vision. Whether one or both eyes are affected, poor depth perception can result from eye movement dysfunction.

  1. Dry Eye Syndrome and Sensitivity to Light

Stroke-related muscle weakness is common, especially in the eyes and face. If this occurs, the eyelids may not be able to fully close during blinking or while asleep. This can lead to dry eye syndrome, causing symptoms like red, itchy, watery, burning eyes and light sensitivity.

Fortunately, many of these visual symptoms after a stroke, are treatable with Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation therapy.

A Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation therapy program that is customized to you can help you return to regain vision and enable you to return to your normal routine. IT can make daily life less challenging.

If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke, speak with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno. We can about evaluate your vision beyond just the eye anatomy. Vision happens in the brain and not in the eyes. Many eye doctors look merely for eye health and damage to the eye itself, but a doctor who offers Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation asses vision function that happens in the brain. When problems are identified, we can help guide you through the treatment options so you can obtain the best possible outcome.

To schedule your appointment or to learn more about what we offer, call Family Eye Care today. You can reach us at 732-679-2020.

serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: #1: What is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation therapy?

  • A: Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy is a customized program of visual exercises and procedures to help your brain and eyes work more efficiently together. Treatment can also include specialized lenses, prisms, and filters.

Q: #2: What other conditions can Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation treat?

  • A: Neuro-Optometry can help patients with visual problems due to traumatic brain injury, stroke, physical disabilities and neurological conditions. A neuro-optometrist can help treat binocular vision disorders (BVD), strabismus, diplopia, oculomotor dysfunction, accommodation and convergence problems, and traumatic visual acuity loss.

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Call Us 732-993-3420

Boys With ADHD Are at Higher Risk for Brain Injury & Vision Problems

brother and sister 640Studies show that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur in approximately 17% of males worldwide.

To determine whether there is a link between inattention-hyperactivity and TBIs, The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry [analyzed] data from 724 Canadian males aged 6-34. They collected information, examined health files and administered a questionnaire to the participants’ teachers on classroom behavior.

This study is the first to show that childhood behaviors, such as inattention-hyperactivity, predicted TBIs. The study also found that boys having sustained a TBI in childhood were more likely to have another one in adolescence.

In addition to headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, TBIs can also impair one’s visual function, typically causing headaches, blurred and double vision, and dizziness, among other symptoms.

At Family Eye Care, we help patients recover their vision through neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy. By performing specific eye-training exercises designed to retrain the neural processes of the brain. This rewires the brain (neuroplasticity) and treats discomforts or struggles associated with visual dysfunction following a brain injury.

What Is a TBI and How Can It Affect Vision?

Traumatic brain injury is a disruption in the normal function of the brain caused by a jolt, blow, or bump to the head, or harsh head injury, whether from a sports-related injury, fall, or car accident.

This can significantly impact the functioning of the visual system. While certain brain injuries may cause permanent damage to the optic nerve, it’s more common for it to disrupt communication between the eyes and brain.

Post TBI visual problems may include:

  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Focusing problems
  • Problems with walking and stride

Why Do Boys with Inattention & Hyperactivity Incur More Head Injuries Than Others?

While there’s still a lot we don’t know about the link between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and concussion, research shows a few connections.

Children and adults with ADHD tend to have poor impulse control, inattention, difficulty maintaining attention, and high energy levels, all of which places them at risk of getting a concussion.

Additionally, many children diagnosed with ADHD are encouraged to participate in sports to help with social interaction, self-esteem and hyperactivity. While this is beneficial on many levels, if they have poor visual-motor speed, or depth perception they’re more likely to collide with teammates, potentially causing a concussion.

Lastly, research also suggests that ADHD may involve problems with visual or auditory processing that may also contribute to the risk of concussion.

How a Neuro-Optometrist Can Help

Neuro-optometrists offer a customized treatment regimen for people with visual deficits resulting from traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It addresses problems related to eye teaming, tracking, and focusing that can make it difficult to read and complete tasks. By training the brain to communicate with the eyes more effectively, symptoms like dizziness and headaches can be significantly reduced or disappear altogether.

If your child exhibits ADHD behaviors and has experienced a concussion contact Family Eye Care for a comprehensive eye exam. If vision problems are detected, we’ll offer a personalized treatment program to strengthen any lagging visual skills that may be getting in the way of your child’s quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno

 

Q: What Is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?

  • A: Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation provides a personalized treatment regimen for those who have visual deficits caused by physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and other neurological insults. Neuro-optometry makes use of therapeutic prisms, lenses, filters, and specific vision therapy techniques to reteach the damaged parts of the brain to function better.

Q: How Are Vision Problems Found After a TBI?

  • A: Visual aberrations following a brain injury tend to be overlooked during the initial treatment, as the patient may have serious, life-threatening issues that require urgent medical attention. Furthermore, symptoms may not even present themselves until some time has passed following the injury. The earlier you see a Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Optometrist, the better.Early diagnosis leads to more efficient treatment.


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What’s the Connection Between Sleep Apnea, Concussion, and Your Vision?

Sleep Apnea 640A recent study indicates that 78% of people who have post-concussion syndrome also have sleep apnea.

What came first: the concussion or sleep apnea? Determining the answer can be difficult. People who don’t get enough sleep already exhibit some of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome even if they have never had a concussion.

What we do know is that there is a connection between sleep apnea and concussion. Sleep apnea affects the recovery from a concussion, and at the same time, the condition may result from a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Where does vision come in?

Sleep Apnea and Concussions

For those having sustained a concussion, sleep is very important for a speedy and thorough recovery. A poor night’s sleep due to sleep apnea, can lead to impaired decision-making, cognitive loss, and symptoms of depression—all of which can interrupt the recovery process.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of sleep apnea, is caused by a physical collapse or blockage of the upper airway that interrupts breathing during sleep. This also reduces blood and oxygen flow to the brain, making it difficult for those with a concussion to recover.

A lesser known type of apnea is central sleep apnea. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, this type is caused by a dysfunction in the brain that regulates breathing and sleep, which could also be affected by a TBI.

Sleep Apnea and Vision

As we all know, getting a good night’s sleep is essential to good health. There are a number of eye conditions that are exacerbated by poor sleep patterns and therefore may be associated with sleep apnea.

These include:

  • Floppy eyelid syndrome
  • Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy
  • Papilledema
  • Glaucoma
  • Swelling of the optic nerve
  • Retinal conditions

Having a comprehensive eye examination can prevent potential vision loss. This is all the more important if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Concussions and Vision

Concussions can have a significant impact on the functioning of the visual system. Post-trauma vision syndrome is a group of symptoms that cause eye coordination problems, dizziness, and blurred vision after a concussion.

The symptoms of post-trauma vision syndrome can include:

  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Focusing problems
  • Problems with walking and stride

Severe concussions can cause double vision and blindness, while mild concussions can affect vision and cause visual dysfunction.

How a Neuro-Optometrist Can Help

Neuro-optometrists can help people who have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in ways that other health care providers may not be able to.

Neuro-Optometrists deals with how the visual system impacts daily functioning. Neuro-Ophthalmology is different. It deals with diseases of the optic nerve.

Neuro-Optometrists help people re-train the brain to accept visual information, make sense of that information, and then send information to the eyes and other areas of the body. It creates a stronger link between the visual system and the Vestibular system in the inner ear. The vestibular system controls balance and if we are speeding up or slowing down. If there is a mis-match between the visual system and vestibular system, then the individual feels dizzy, vertigo, or as if they are spinning, even if they are lying in bed. Neuro-Optometry helps all the various systems coordinate and work better together.

If you have had a concussion or suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact Family Eye Care to follow up on a diagnosis and treatment for any vision problems you may be having due to either condition.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth


Q: What’s the connection between sleep apnea, concussion, and your vision?

  • A: After sustaining a concussion, you may begin to experience sleep apnea. This not only affects the healing process but your vision as well.

Q: Is there a way to treat vision problems due to a concussion?

  • A: Yes. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation therapy retrains the brain to regain those abilities. It then relieves dizziness, headaches, double vision, and other TBI-related problems.

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Call Us 732-993-3420

10 Things About Vestibular Disorders You Probably Didn’t Know

tired woman 640The vestibular system enables us to stand straight, stable, and balanced. It also sends signals to the brain to tell us if we are speeding up or slowing down. People who have vestibular disorders often feel dizzy, unstable, or vertigo. They complain of feeling disoriented, falling, or stumbling.

There is a direct connection between the visual system and the balance system. When there is a mismatch between the two systems, or a break between the two, people have those symptoms. Creating a better input and connection between the visual and vestibular systems is precisely what Neuro-Optometrists do. Read on to learn more about visual-vestibular disorders and how we may be able to treat your dizziness.

10 Quick Facts About Vestibular Disorders

  1. Vestibular disorders affect more than 35% of adults over the age of 40.
  2. The vestibular system is made up of 3 canals that have tiny fluid-filled parts within the inner ear, and they and act like a carpenter’s level. It sends signals to areas in the brain that process balance and movement.
  3. Some of the other symptoms of vestibular disorders include nausea, fatigue, difficulty focusing on objects, poor concentration, difficulty reading, hearing loss, and ringing in the ear. Many of these symptoms may overlap with other conditions. An Neuro-Optometrist is the professional who is skilled in this area, and can help.
  4. Vestibular disorders can be caused by injury, disease, drug or chemical poisoning, aging, and autoimmune diseases.
  5. Certain nutritional and lifestyle changes such as reducing salt intake, caffeine, and alcohol could improve your condition and ease symptoms of vestibular disorders.
  6. Vestibular disorders can be challenging to diagnose. Many patients report visiting four or more physicians over the course of several years before arriving at correct diagnosis.
  7. Some common vestibular disorders are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s disease, and vestibular migraine.
  8. Patients with undiagnosed vestibular disorders may sometimes be perceived as lazy, anxious, inattentive, or attention-seeking.
  9. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is a form of vision therapy, and can be life-changing for some patients. At times, doctors may prescribe special prisms to help alleviate symptoms.
  10. There is hope! Neuro-Optometrists offer Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation improves and re-establishes the link between the visual and vestibular information. Patients who suffer from dizziness or other symptoms of vestibular disorders learn how to coordinate the visual and vestibular systems. This then reduces or even eliminates the symptoms such as the feeling of dizziness and disorientation.

If you are experiencing dizziness, contact Family Eye Care to schedule a Functional Vision Evaluation. We also work closely with other professionals in this area.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 732-993-3420