Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is the use of therapeutic activities to aid in eliminating symptoms such as headache, balance problems, dizziness, light sensitivity, fatigue and double vision resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury.
Each year, 1.7 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury. Initial evaluation of these individuals is directed at ruling out life-threatening concerns such as skull fracture or bleeding within the brain. Once cleared, these patients are given the inappropriate diagnosis of minimal traumatic brain injury. While there are no signs of injury by CAT scan or MRI, our studies clearly show that there are injuries to axons, which are the parts of the nerve cell that connect to other cells or places throughout the brain. Our brains are intricate managers of how we interact with the world and we rely heavily on these connections. Over 70% of the brain has some connection to vision. These connections are not only responsible for identifying what we see based on memory but they are involved in understanding our position in space and the position of items in our environment.
Visual connections are important in establishing balance, spatial perception, eye coordination and reaction time.
The initial treatment for anyone with a brain injury after life- threatening problems are treated or ruled out is rest, but the ultimate goal is to have the patient return to normal pre- injury activities. When problems persist, Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is an important consideration. Prism glasses or colored filters are often helpful as well.
In-office and home therapy can be directed at re establishing the neural connections that have been compromised and eliminating symptoms.