Acquired Brain Injury and Vision
Visual problems resulting from Acquired Brain Injury are often overlooked. Acquired Brain Injury can disrupt the visual process, interfering with the flow and processing of information to the brain.
Acquired Brain Injury is essentially an insult to the brain, and comes in many forms:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Mild Acquired Brain Injury
- Mild Closed Head Injury
- Post-Concussive Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
Acquired Brain Injury can result from a blow to the head, stroke, or neurological dysfunction. It can produce an altered state of consciousness, and may result in impairment of cognitive abilities, sensory processing and/or physical function. Most impairments are responsive to rehabilitation.
Symptoms indicating a vision problem are:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Reading difficulties; words appear to move
- Comprehension difficulty
- Attention and concentration difficulty
- Memory difficulty
- Double vision
- Aching eyes
- Headaches with visual tasks
- Loss of visual field
Optometry and Rehabilitation
Through vision therapy and proper use of lenses, a behavioral optometrist specifically trained to work with Acquired Brain Injury patients can help improve the flow and processing of information between the eyes and brain. Normal rehabilitative services can be incomplete without addressing the visual-perceptual consequences.
Vision therapy can be very practical and effective. After examination and consultation, the optometrist can conclude how a person processes information and determine where a person's strengths and weaknesses lie. The optometrist then prescribes a treatment plan incorporating vision therapy with 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 many other activities in daily living.
(Resource: Optometric Extension Program Foundation, 2009).