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Advanced Treatment for Acquired Brain Injury and Hidden visual problems. For Patients and Families
Acquired Brain Injury can come in many forms. Below are some common diagnoses:
Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild Acquired Brain Injury
Mild Closed Head Injury
Cervical Trauma Syndrome
Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome
Stroke, Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Vascular Accident
Essentially, Acquired Brain Injury is an insult to the brain. It can result form a blow to the head, strike or neurological dysfunction. It can happen in utero. This can produce diminished or altered state of consciousness, and may result in impairments of cognitive abilities, sensory processing and/or physical function. Impairments may be mild or severe; most are amendable to rehabilitation.
Specific effects can be:
Disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning
Partial or total functional disability
Hidden Visual Problems
Vision is the most important source of sensory information. Consisting of a sophisticated complex of subsystems, the visual process involves the flow and processing of information to the brain. Because there is a close relationship between vision and the brain, Acquired Brain Injury can disrupt the visual process, interfering with the flow and processing of information. The result is a vision problem. Symptons indicating a vision problem are:
Sensitivity to light
Reading difficulties Comprehension difficulty
Attention and concentration difficulty
Headaches with visual tasks
Loss of visual field
Loss of balance
Poor fine and gross motor function
Optometry and Rehabilitation
Very few in the health care professions, including head trauma rehabilitation centers, are adequately aware of visual problems resulting from Acquired Brain Injury and the visual-perceptual consequences. Unfortunately, this creates a gap in rehabilitative services, resulting incomplete treatment and frustration for the patient, family and treatment team.
The vision care professional can play an important role in the rehabilitation effort. Through vision therapy and the proper use of lenses, a neuro-developmental optometrist specifically trained to work with Acquired Brain Injury patients can help improve the flow and processing of information between the eyes and the brain.
Vision therapy can be very practical and effective. After evaluation, examination and consultation, the optometrist determines how a person processes information after an injury and where that person’s strength and weaknesses lie. The optometrist then prescribes a treatment regimen incorporating whole body sensory integration work, visual-vestibular-proprioceptive therapies, lenses, prisms, low vision aides and specific activities designed to improve control of a person’s visual system and increase vision efficiency. This in turn can help support any other activities of your daily life.
What is Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation?
Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is based upon the core principle that vision is a learned process and can be developed or enhanced at any age. Optometrists practicing this method have continued their education beyond the basic Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree. This continuing education emphasizes the use of vestibular therapy, lenses, prisms’ and vision therapy to enhance a patient’s visual capabilities, reduce visual stress, prevent and rehabilitate vision problems. As a member of the rehabilitative vision team, neuro development optometrists have extensive experience treating the vision problems stemming from Acquired Brain Injury.
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